It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Disney Editions is celebrating with a new book by Jeff Kurtti called From All of Us to All of You: The Disney Christmas Card. Serious Disney fans are no doubt familiar with the Jiminy Cricket song the book borrows its title from, as well as the studio’s long tradition of giving custom-made holiday cards to employees and associates. But it’s unlikely that you’ve seen the majority of them collected in one place before, and in chronological order to boot.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but I have to talk about this one for a moment. The artwork is lovely, with shades of green and red and featuring a garland of Disney Christmas cards strung across the front. But this book doesn’t open in a conventional way, with a seam in the center that opens in the middle rather than the edge, advertised as “Theater Style” (the only other book I’ve seen like this is How Does the Show Go On? by Tom Schumacher… with Jeff Kurtti). It’s a neat concept, but proves tricky as you now have half a cover underneath the growing pile of pages on the left, and too much cover on the right side. You need to make a lot of space on a table to sit down with this one and what is undoubtedly a clever design also makes for an annoying reading experience.
Kurtti begins before the Disney Christmas card tradition started with a look at the popularization of our modern Christmas traditions, leading to the rise of card giving around the holidays. The book is then broken into decades, starting with the 1930’s and ending with the 2000’s. Each decade has a page summarizing everything that was going on at the company during that time, followed by high quality scans and descriptions of most of the studio cards. A few years are skipped and it’s unclear if there wasn’t a card that year or if it was simply a space-saving measure.
Along the way, Kurtti pauses your gallery tour to shine a spotlight on Disney Artists that contributed their talent to the company’s cards. This includes Tom Wood, Hank Porter, Mary Blair, John Hench, Bob Moore, Paul Wenzel, John Jensen, and Kevin Kidney. Some of these are big names, some are even modern names, but a few are obscure even to Disney fans and therefore fascinating to discover in this release.
Another key selling point is that the book features “12 removable holiday cards.” They are scattered throughout the book in envelopes attached to pages like little presents. Fans hoping for recreations of the Disney company cards should hold their breath. These are all created exclusively for this release, with the majority of them featuring poster or concept art from animated shorts. A few feature custom artwork, including a piece by Lorelay Bove themed to Prep & Landing. In the unlikely event that a reader actually uses any of the cards during the holidays, the back lets the recipient know from whence it came in case they would like a copy of the book for themselves, and another copy off the card they received.
From All of Us to All of You: The Disney Christmas Card by Jeff Kurtti married my love of Disney history with my love of Christmas. I delighted in the nostalgic look back at promotional holiday imagery that beautifully captures the spirit and iconic styles of each decade. This makes a perfect Christmas present for the Disney fan in your life and will likely inspire an additional bucket list item to own one of these piece of Disney history.