About the Book
From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls comes the untold story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations.
Book Synopsis From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, "richly detailed" story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures).
From Snow White
, from Pinocchio
, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades.
In The Queens of Animation
, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. As the influence of Walt Disney Studios grew -- and while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation -- these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.
With gripping storytelling, and based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation
reveals the vital contributions these women made to Disney's Golden Age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen
, Disney's first female-directed full-length feature film.A Best Book of 2019: Library Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Financial Times
...While restoring these women to their rightful place in history, Holt also covers the evolution of Disney's animated features, such as how the studio continually integrated new technological innovations, including the multiplane camera, stop-motion animation, Technicolor, and many others. Going up to the present to highlight how women have continued to play key roles in making films like Brave
Holt's thorough and enchanting
account will be a must-read for Disney enthusiasts and champions of women's artistic contributions."
"Eye-opening and empowering
...Holt rectifies a serious wrong...as she tells the often-omitted stories of these enormously talented women."--Leah Huey, Library Journal (starred review)
"This is one you don't want to miss--and won't want to put down
. Holt brings her empathy, smart writing, and knack for research to the story of another group of extraordinary, unsung women heroes
."--Brian Jay Jones, author of Becoming Dr. Seuss and George Lucas: A Life
"The Queens of Animation
draws on the revealing and engagingly personal stories
of many talented women who had a hand in the creation of the animated Disney films we all love--a long overdue recognition
for their contributions. It's time to resuscitate and honor all that women have clandestinely molded and shaped."--Kara Cooney, author of When Women Ruled the World
"A remarkable true story, unforgettably told
...Holt has unearthed a vivid, soaring, vitally important untold story
of women's contribution to technology, entertainment, and art."--Lisa Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls
"A riveting and essential
read about the women who helped create many of the most famous Walt Disney films. Like Hidden Figure
s and Rise of the Rocket Girls, The Queens of Animation
tells us a story we need to hear, one that was lost to history until now
."--Charlotte Gordon, author of Romantic Outlaws
"A gripping corrective...Nathalia Holt ushers these animators and story developers into the limelight...Few know of the company's female virtuosi, who from the 1930s on injected nuance into characters from Bambi to a panoply of princesses."--Barbara Kiser, Nature
"Disney fans will go wild over The Queens of Animation
... Nathalia Holt digs deep and exposes some of the talented women who finally get some recognition."--Sophie Matthews, Women.com
"Disney's female artists and writers have finally been receiving long overdue recognition. Holt's heartfelt, deeply researched tome, however, is the first to truly highlight the sexism they experienced at the studio."--Biz Hyzy, Booklist (starred review)
"Gripping, galvanizing reading...A beautifully sculpted narrative of hurtlingly fast pace...invaluably researched...A bolt of pure reading delight that outdoes even Holt's utterly winning earlier book Rise of the Rocket Girls
...Holt has told the story of indispensable trailblazers."--Steve Donoghue, Christian Science Monitor
"Holt's dedication to telling these women's stories after they've been lost--and nearly forgotten--for so long is palpable, narrating their personal histories as if the animators were characters themselves...And if it weren't for this book, their work might have gone ignored and overlooked forever."--Rachel King, Fortune
"Marvelous...The Queens of Animation
grips from the first page...As Holt shows so masterfully, the bright colors and curved lines that become those fairy tale figures are the results of real
women's brains, strength, and passion."--Mary Gabriel, author of Ninth Street Women
"Nathalia Holt has a deeper, more important motive for revisiting classics...Marshaling scrupulous research, the author makes the case for the role played by female studio employees in bringing to life those classic films...This book scores for telling us something new about the films we thought we knew so well."--Peter Tonguette, Wall Street Journal
"Nathalia Holt's richly detailed
shines a welcome light on Disney's true heroines--not the princesses on the screen, but the talented female artists and writers working hard behind the scenes.The Queens of Animation
is also a crisp reflection on Hollywood's charged and changing relationship with beauty, race and fame."--Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures
"Readers who loved Nathalia Holt's Rise of the Rocket Girls
will find so much to enjoy in this deeply researched, loving celebration of Disney's long-overlooked female pioneers.
Holt evocatively blends social history, technological advances and the personal lives
of these forgotten artists to champion their achievements and their extraordinary legacy."--Kate Moore, New York Times bestselling author of The Radium Girls
"Sprightly...Holt, a science journalist and a popular historian, introduces us to a handful of women who worked on some of the classic Disney Studios films, spins them around, sprinkles some pixie dust, and has them take a bow."--Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker
"Think of this book as if Hidden Figures
were about Walt Disney Studios instead of NASA. The Queens of Animation
pulls back the curtain on a handful of influential, and largely under-recognized, women writers and animators who helped shape the early aesthetic of Disney during a time when the industry was largely a boy's club...Holt goes from Snow White
up to Frozen
in this essential read ahead of the launch of Disney+ this fall."--Jeva Lange, The Week, 25 Books to Read in the Second Half of 2019
About the Author Nathalia Holt, Ph.D.
is the New York Times
bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
and Cured: The People who Defeated HIV
. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times,
the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science,
. She is a former Fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Pacific Grove, California.