Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends Through the Decades – Disney Storybook Artists

Mickey Mouse made his cartoon debut in 1929 in Plane Crazy with his girlfriend Minnie. Since then Walt’s creations have made their way into so many hearts around the world, including mine. Family members have long joked that they’re going to drop me off at Disney World; promising they’ll come visit me at my new home from time to time.

I have zero artistic ability but a Disney book was always going to pique my interest. I was expecting the step by step instructions to recreate Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang but I didn’t realise I’d also find such an interesting history lesson about the introduction and progression through the decades of my childhood friends.

I loved the animation timeline shown at the bottom of the information pages and I adored the layout of the entire book. You can really see the progression of Mickey and his pals throughout the years in the frames from classic cartoons. There are also tips on the illustration pages that will help bring out the characters’ expressions and personalities.

I didn’t think for a second that I’d have a chance at replicating any of the step by step masterpieces and chuckled to myself when I thought about the scary monstrosities I could come up with from trying to attempt just Step 1. However, when I looked at the illustrations objectively, I could see how they would help someone who can already draw turn their pencil strokes into something that would make Walt himself proud. I do think this would be too advanced for most kids though.

The projects begin with 1920’s Mickey and Minnie, along with Pete from Steamboat Willie (who was actually first drawn as a bear three years before Mickey was born).

In the 1930’s audiences were introduced to Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, Daisy Duck and Mortimer Mouse. Goofy and Daisy originally had different names. The 1930’s projects teach you Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie, as well as 1930’s versions of Mickey and Minnie.

The 1940’s & Beyond section includes my favourite illustration; Mickey as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. There are also other more modern Mickey’s and Minnie’s to draw, as well as Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.

Fun Fact: Did you know that 1943’s Pluto and the Armadillo was the last time Mickey wore his iconic red shorts until 1995?

While this book will certainly appeal to artists, the additional information about Mickey and co. along with the promotional posters and photos of such Disney awesomeness like the desk where Mickey was drawn for 45 years elevates this book to Disneyana status. I loved it!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster for the opportunity to drool over this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends Through the Decades is a must-have collector’s item that celebrates the world’s most beloved mouse and his pals through step-by-step drawing projects and vintage artwork from the Disney archives.

On November 18, 1928, Walt Disney unveiled a cartoon character who would soon become one of the most recognisable global icons: Mickey Mouse. Since then, Mickey has touched the lives of fans of all ages, all around the world. For more than 90 years,Mickey has undergone several transformations, changing in appearance from his premiere appearance in “Steamboat Willie” in the 1920s to the modern mouse we know and love today. A collection of vintage artwork from the Disney archives reveals early designs, sketches, and poses of Mickey Mouse, as well as other classic characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck.

This book celebrates Mickey and his friends with 128 pages of art instruction and animation history, making it a covetable collector’s item for any Disney enthusiast or aspiring artist interested in learning to draw in vintage cartoon style.

Featured projects include the evolving looks of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Each section of drawing lessons is categorised by style and decade in Disney history. Artists and fans alike will find interesting anecdotes and facts sprinkled throughout Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends Through the Decades, for a well-rounded collector’s experience that is sure to entertain and enlighten. 

Disney Manga: Descendants – The Rotten to the Core – Jason Muell

Illustrations – Natsuki Minami

Let me begin by telling you I’ve never seen the movie and haven’t read volumes 1 or 3 of this Disney Manga trilogy. Based on the blurb and cover illustration, we’ve got some kids who spend a considerable amount of time at the hairdressers and who usually live on the Isle of the Lost with their Disney baddie parents – Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella De Vil.

I don’t know how or why but these baddies in training have been invited to attend a yuppie prep school in Auradon alongside the goody two-shoes Disney hero kids. Our baddie Descendants are Mal (purple hair), Evie (blue hair), Jay (really long hair and probably brushes it a hundred times a day to keep it silky smooth), and Carlos (likely to be bleached, extremely likely to be highly styled, spiky hair).

Baddie parents are counting on baddie kids to act the part in their evil scheme to overthrow the goody two-shoes and take over the kingdom (or maybe just the Auradon part or is Auradon the kingdom?!). Will baddie kids be bad or will they save the kingdom by “embracing their innate goodness”. Hmm… “embracing their innate goodness”. I suppose we are in the Wonderful World of Disney. 🧚‍♂️

I’m not overly sure what happened in this volume other than it being a set up for the grand finale where our baddie heroes decide if they’re more baddie or hero. Other than that there were enough “I need a boyfriend” conversations, makeovers, cheerleaders and insta-love magic style to make me extremely grateful I’m done with high school.

If you loved the movie then you should like this trilogy because, from what I’ve read, it’s a play by play of the movie’s highlight reel. Personally I think I’ll give the rest of this trilogy a miss and will give the movie a very wide berth.

I like my villains to be of the sarcastic, funny, evil variety that is destined to die but they’re going to entertain you until then, like Hans Gruber from Die Hard or Peter Krieg, A.K.A., Simon Gruber (Hans’ brother) from Die Hard with a Vengeance. I want to love my villains, not watch them magically transform into someone we can all look to for moral guidance. If you want your villains to have a lightbulb moment and turn syrupy sweet this may be the story for you.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, TokyoPop and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read Volume 2 of this Disney Manga trilogy.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella De Vil have never ventured off the Isle of the Lost … until now. Invited to pristine Auradon to attend prep school alongside the children of beloved Disney heroes, Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos must carryout their villain parents evil plot to rule once again. Will the rebel teens follow in their rotten parents’ footsteps or will they choose to embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom?

This is volume 2 of the Descendants Manga Trilogy.

Disney Manga: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – Jun Asuka

It’s Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas! It’s my very first manga experience! What’s not to love?!

OK, so you know the story of The Nightmare Before Christmas, right? If you said “no” I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you and wait here patiently while you go watch the movie…

[Christmas carol elevator music plays in the background]

OK, so you know the story of The Nightmare Before Christmas, right? Great!!!

So you know that in Halloween Town, Jack the Pumpkin King is over it! After another successful Halloween Jack is disillusioned and wanders off, followed by his trusty ghost dog Zero. I love Zero! After finding a Christmas tree shaped door in a tree trunk Jack stumbles into Christmas Town where he discovers snow, colour and the wonders of Christmas. Jack decides he’s going to be Sandy Claws this year and gets the freaky folks of Halloween Town involved in the preparations. Then things kind of fall apart. Can Sally, who’s secretly in love with Jack, help to save the day? Will the kidnapped Santa Claus ever make it back to Christmas Town? Can Christmas be saved?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then obviously you haven’t been paying attention. I’ll wait here patiently while you go watch the movie…

[Christmas carol elevator music plays in the background]

Right, so now we all know the story, let me say that this manga book is absolutely brilliant! If this is what manga is all about then I’ve been seriously missing out. This story stays true to the magic of the original and the artwork still feels like you’re walking through Tim Burton’s mind. With the cover illustration by Natsuki Minami and manga by Jun Asuka, I’m sold!

Kids and adults alike will appreciate this book. It’s suitable for those who decorate their trees by November and still have them up in January and it’s also a great read for those like me whose December catchphrase is ‘Bah, humbug!’. Plus, there’s Halloween Town! Need I say any more??

Thank you so much to NetGalley, TokyoPop and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town and master of all things creepy and spooky. But he’s tired of his life in the shadows and longs for something new. When he accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town, he decides this is the perfect chance to try his hand at a brand new holiday and is convinced he’ll have the world yelling “Scary Christmas”! With the young patchwork doll Sally trying to dissuade him and the evil Oogie Boogie waiting in the wings to take over Halloween Town in Jack’s absence, he’d better hurry if he wants to get his plan in place by December 25th!