Book Review: Travels with Figment on the Road in Search of Disney Dreams by Marty Sklar
Travels with Figment on the Road in Search of Disney Dreams by Marty Sklar is the final book by the Disney Legend. Marty passed away in August 2017 with only the first draft of this book complete. His wife and daughter worked with a team to finish the book. It will be widely available starting November 5th.
The book will be available early at the D23 Expo. There will be a talent signing by Leah & Leslie Sklar (his wife and daughter). Also there will be a presentation at the Archives Stage.
Marty created this book in response to the number one question he was asked when discussing his previous two works – Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering, which was when can we read more of your stories.
Marty Sklar was a Disney Legend in every sense of the word, having worked for the company for over 50 years and being present at all Disney Park openings. He was hired at Disneyland for the parks opening, was the “voice” of Walt Disney for years crafting speeches, scripts and many letters for Walt and eventually rose to lead Walt Disney Imagineering for decades. Marty was named Imagineering Ambassador leading up to his retirement and this was a role he continued after leaving the company. This book is filled with stories of his various trips, the people he worked with and encountered over the years and some of their stories. Added to this are a final chapter discussing Marty’s Legacy featuring condolence notes from those who knew him well.
I was sent a review copy and it quickly rose to the top of my to do list. If you have ever attended a Disney event or other occasion where Marty Sklar was speaking you know he has a lot of interesting stories and life experiences to share. So having another chance to revisit and hear more from Marty as well as those that worked with him was great. I always have enjoyed listening to Marty share over the years at the several opportunities I have had to hear him in person or see him on video. This book is true to his voice. Some of the stories you may have heard many you may not of. Marty always seemed to enjoy playing the role of a moderator on panels and in this book he includes a large number of stories/pieces from his friends & colleagues, both inside and outside Disney. The format of the book is that of short stories and pieces by contributor grouped into chapters. There is not necessarily a running narrative to the book but more a collection of short stories.
The chapter featuring Ray Bradbury stories was very interesting to read and hear about several interactions over the years with the world renowned futurist/author. Marty put together Mickey’s Ten Commandments in 1983 and these became the guiding principle for many over the years. Chapter 8 is titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Mickey’s Ten Commandments and it features comments/stories from former and current Imagineers as well as industry peers. They include reflections of how the ten commandments were applied or are being applied to projects they are working on. I enjoyed reading about a current project – Jim Clark (A Creative Development Producer at Imagineering) shares how they were applied to the upcoming Beauty & the Beast Fantasyland Expansion at Tokyo Disneyland.
Travels with Figment On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams is an interesting read for anyone with an infinity toward Disney History. The book makes a great addition to your library of Disney reference material featuring a wide range of comments and stories. I enjoyed spending a little more time with Marty.
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