Best Disney Animation Books | Learn about Disney's Animation History

best disney animation books

The animation is nothing more than an optical illusion, the purpose of which is to give a sense of weight and flexibility to drawn objects.

The magic of Disney animation tells us timeless stories, bring memorable anime characters to life, and invent fabulous worlds that entertain animation lovers around the world.

Here you will get some of the best Disney animation books that can aflame any aesthete's inner talent towards a professional Disney animator.

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
Author: Ollie Johnston,Frank Thomas
Published at: 19/10/1995
ISBN: 0786860707

The illusion of Life: Disney Animation is the most complete book ever written on the history of Disney animation with the fascinating inside story.

It contains thousands of black and white illustrations ranging from storyboard sketches to entire animation sequences. This Animation Books Disney goes back to where the animation was born, made and enjoyed by people all over the world.

It's a must-have book recommended to any potential animators and Disney enthusiasts and great for those who want a flashback to the golden era of animation.

This book covers:

  • Comprehensive topics on animation.
  • Beautiful artworks.
  • Considerable details.
  • Colorful illustrations.
  • Nice storytelling and character developments.
  • Interesting quotes and commentary.
  • Camera techniques.
  • Styles of background paintings, effects, colors and other technical approaches to creating animations.
  • Stunning galleries, paintings, and storyboard sketches.
  • Basic principles on illusion of characters.
  • A coffee table book.


The Walt Disney Film Archives XXL: The Animated Movies 1921-1968
Author: Daniel Kothenschulte,John Lasseter,Russell Merritt,Charles Solomon,Dr. Robin Allan,Didier Ghez,J. B. Kaufman,Katja Lüthge,Brian Sibley,Leonard Maltin,Mindy Johnson,Dave Smith,Andreas Platthaus
Published at: 15/10/2016
ISBN: 3836552914

The phenomenal Disney journey always remembers that this whole thing started with a mouse. Disney is thought to be the most dazzling parable for the power of imagination.

Walt Disney, one of the creative minds of the 20th century created a unique and peerless imaginative universe. This Animation Books Disney is one of the most enchanting and detailed masterpieces of Disney art books in existence.

it’s an absolute treasure for any Disney fan who wants to explore a variety of opportunities to start a new chapter in their career at Disney.

This book covers:

  • Highly detailed illustrations of famous Disney filmy scenes.
  • 1,500 images and essays by eminent Disney experts.
  • Rare pictures are taken by Disney studio photographers.
  • Colorful and vivid pictures of Disney characters.
  • Impressive size, designs and picture contents.
  • Incredible artworks.
  • Insightful texts.
  • Embossed front cover.
  • Lavish and plentiful illustrations.
  • Astonishing collections and stories.
  • Enjoyable to read.


Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation (Disney Editions Deluxe)
Author: Mindy Johnson
Published at: 05/09/2017
ISBN: 1484727819
This is a lovely Disney book about the unsung heroines of the Disney animation world, who eventually managed to break the gender barrier and find positions in animation, editing, story, production, camera, writing, and research.

This book thoroughly examines the way women have provided colors to Disney characters over the decades. Well written and large glossy pictures make it an excellent piece to own.  It is also about humanity, the creativity, and the frustrations of overcoming incredible odds to create a truly unique art form, alongside a detailed historical record of inking and painting.

Highly recommended for Disney fans and historians who will find it a book of full treasure.

This book features:
  • Engrossing and enlightening detailed history on inking and painting.
  • Handsome coffee table book.
  • Tremendously high-quality book, pages, and cover.
  • Never-before-seen photographs and artworks of Disney cartoons.
  • Tons of great new information, and a visual feast.
  • Refulgent with lavish illustrations and photographs.
  • Interesting & eyeopening detailed chapters.
  • The collective history of animation.


Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series Walt Disney's Nine More Old Men (Nine More Old Men: The Flipbooks) (Disney Editions Deluxe)
Author: Pete Docter
Published at: 17/10/2017
ISBN: 1484745353
A complete package of nine flipbooks that pay tribute to Disney’s early animators Ub Iwerks, Norm Ferguson, Bill Tytla, Ham Luske, Art Babbitt, Grim Gatwick, Freddie Moore, Hal King, and John Sibley, who created one of the best times in the Disney era.

These flip books will show you the way to study the elegance of master animators and their famous scenes frame by frame. If you are a fan of early works of Disney animation you need this for your collection. It’s also must-have for any student of traditional hand-drawn animation.

These flip-books contain:
  • Beautiful artwork and drawings by the masters of animation.
  • Amazing graphics.
  • Excellent reproductions.
  • Nice hard sturdy display box to keep books protected.
  • Wonderful scenes of animation.
  • Exceptional quality print and binding.
  • Easy to flip.
  • Classic characters.
  • Hand-drawn animations.
  • Startling photos of actual pencil drawing.


Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series
Author: Walt Disney Animation Research Library
Published at: 23/11/2010
ISBN: 1423134206
An inspiring collection of the Walt Disney Archive Series that provides a wealth of details on the fundamental creation and design process of some of the most compelling Disney Animation productions.

The drawings inside give insight into the workings of the legendary animators at Disney. This book contains so much history and information on the beginnings of animation and the people who created it.

This is a great coffee table book to keep fans of Disney and illustration enthusiasts entertained. Great gift for art and Disney lovers.

This book covers:
  • Wonderful contents.
  • Beautiful design arts including drawing, sketches, color studies, and digital paintings.
  • Lavish illustrations on different design styles and viewpoints.
  • Interesting anecdotes. 
  • Concept art for animated films.
  • Beautiful character designs, background paintings, and storyboards.
  • Different art styles from pencil animated characters to pastels to watercolor scenes and oil paintings.
  • High-quality book.
  • Affordable for everyone.


The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney's Great Animators
Author: Andreas Deja
Published at: 23/09/2015
ISBN: 0415843359

Master animators, the Nine Old Man have changed the animation forever by creating Disney’s most famous works.

This book is the resourceful one that focuses on their carriers and contributions to Disney Animation and provides thoughtful analysis of their skills, techniques and animation styles. Detailed instructions and analytical works of the Nine Old Men may enlighten one’s character choices and approaches to character animation.

A great read for anyone wanting to study the golden age of animation.


This book features:

  • Original drawings.
  • Perfect guide of art and craft.
  • Detailed illustration on animation styles.
  • Heartfelt stories and techniques.
  • Amazing artworks and animation sketches.
  • A coffee table book with a nice cover.



Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series #1: Story
Author: Walt Disney Animation Research Libr
Published at: 09/12/2008
ISBN: 1423107233

A remarkable archive of storyboards created for traditional animation that presents artworks, sketches, and stories of Disney animation.

It mainly focuses on the masterful application of storyboard techniques like cutting scenes, composing, moving the camera view rather than the actual story of Disney's animated features.

It's a valuable resource for anyone interested in cartoon drawing, story-boarding, or storytelling by meticulously seizing the tidiness, nuances, and subtleties of the animator’s original drawings. This book is an absolute delight.

This book features:

  • Plenty of styles of art.
  • Awesome reproductions.
  • Beautiful and colorful gallery.
  • Huge story.
  • Detailed storyboard techniques.
  • Amazing illustrations.
  • high-quality presentation and designs.
  • Brilliant story artworks.




Before Ever After: The Lost Lectures of Walt Disney’s Animation Studio (Disney Editions Deluxe)
Author: Don Hahn,Tracey Miller-Zarneke
Published at: 20/10/2015
ISBN: 1484710819
Before Ever After is an absolute compilation of rare and previously unpublished lecture notes on composition, drawing and fine art that have spoken about the philosophy on art and design of famous animators of Walt Disney animation history.

This book is historical, focuses only on the films made during Walt Disney's lifetime rather than information on modern Disney movies. Highly recommended for Disney adorers, serious animation students, artists, and anyone who is interested in the inner workings of Walt Disney Studios.

This book features:
  • Richly illustrated text and context.
  • The sheer amount of information and insight into Disney's animation theories and techniques.
  • Instructional notes on Disney animation history.
  • Original drawings and typed lectures.
  • amazing photos and documents.


Bug Zoo: Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase Book
Author: Disney Book Group
Published at: 16/02/2016
ISBN: 1484720547
This is an amazing bedtime storybook for young children of ages 3-8 who have a keen interest in discovering bugs or insects living around them.

This storybook offers a lesson about enjoying life in the natural habitat. It’s a simple storybook with a heartwarming message recommended for both parents and young listeners and readers who can love the life of tiny creatures surrounding us.

This book covers:
  • Vibrant and beautiful pictures.
  • Eye capturing arts, colors, and drawings.
  • Amazing illustrations.
  • Great artwork.
  • Pleasant look.
  • Meaningful story with a lesson.
  • Colorful photos.


Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation
Author: Don Hahn,Charles Solomon
Published at: 16/10/2018
ISBN: 1681884445

Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation is a spectacular collection about the individual story of Disney’s Nine Old Men, their personal artifacts, and unique personalities behind iconic Disney characters and films.

It can be a great read about the personal work of Disney’s legends outside of the studio revealing how they collectively formulated animation to an art form. It is considered to be a worthy addition for the collection.

This book presents:

  • Personal arts, paintings, sculptures, and flip-books.
  • original animation drawings.
  • Personal artifacts of Disney legends.
  • In-depth discussions on animator's personal life.
  • Personal caricatures and fine artworks.
  • Easy to understand.
  • Resourceful collection.


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