Book Review: Poster Art of the Disney Parks (Second Edition)
Poster Art of the Disney Parks second edition is an excellent follow-up to the original that was released a decade ago. This book adds 85 posters on nearly 100 additional pages encompassing the attractions, lands and parks that opened since 2012 including Shanghai Disneyland, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the new series of EPCOT posters that were initially unveiled at the 2019 D23 Expo.
The heart of the book is the same as the original. Danny Handke and Vanessa Hunt share the history of poster art, a look at how these pieces are created and then showcase a wide assortment of finished works spanning Disney Parks history. The book not only features final art, but a selection of concept art and progression illustrations are used to describe and illustrate the process of bringing these posters to completion.
There are posters from 11 of 12 Disney parks in the collection, I did not see any from the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.. The posters are organized into 11 chapters grouped by land for the common park lands from Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland. A couple posters from Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are included in these groupings. Then dedicated chapters for Tokyo DisneySea, Disney California Adventure, EPCOT and Shanghai Disneyland for its unique lands.
I found it the most interesting to look at the collections of posters for the same attraction in various parks around the world as well as the evolution of some over the years as they were updated. In the EPCOT chapter they have a two page spread that shows the entire collection and I thought this was a great way to see them, I would have liked to see something similar with some of the sets to more at once in addition to diving into the details. They have posters all the way up to Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, but nothing for Avengers Campus or Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. There are some posters for the entertainment offerings scattered throughout, I would like to see an expanded grouping/chapter featuring these shows and parades. Maybe all this will materialize in a 3rd edition.
The book is the same large format (14.25H x 11.25W inches) as the original. In addition to the new posters added the layouts of a number of pages have been changed with some posters enlarged and others shrunk compared to the first edition book. The narrative and introduction by Tony Baxter have been updated slightly and expanded too.
I was looking forward to this expanded offering and the Poster Art of the Disney Parks Second Edition did not disappoint. If you enjoyed the first edition you will want to consider adding this to your library as the volume of new material is substantial. If you do not own a copy of the first edition and are a fan of the parks and poster art this should be on your must have list.