Disney Who’s Who: An A to Z of Disney Characters was originally released in September 2017. A revised and updated version of the book was released in July of this year, and while it is a lovely book and great Disney trivia resource, many Disney characters are still missing.
That’s Right. Some of Our Favorite Characters are Missing
While we are sad about it, we appreciate that a book of this size could not possibly include all of Disney’s memorable characters.
The contents page lists films, as opposed to characters (characters are covered in the book’s index), but in some ways this makes the omissions even clearer. Where is Tarzan? A Goofy Movie? DuckTales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp? Not to mention all the memorable characters we see in Disney television series, movie sequels and live-action movies. While this may or may not be a bit nit-picky on our part, with a title like ‘An A to Z of Disney Characters’, we would expect much more of an encyclopedic coverage than a relatively high-level snapshot as provided here.
What is Not Missing is Great Descriptions and Illustrations
Aside from some of our missing favorites, there is lots of fun stuff to behold in this book. For youngsters, the character descriptions are not only great reading material, but are also useful in helping to develop their own writing and observation skills. True to Disney form, the illustrations are crisp, clear quality and more-or-less true to how the characters appear in their respective films.
“Did You Know?” Even the Ultimate Disney Fan Will Learn Something New
The “Did You Know?” sections take the cake as my favorite feature of this book. Step aside, youngsters. Parents, teens, adults, event venues, bar owners – anyone who hosts and/or has an interest in Disney trivia will find something to challenge even the most die-hard fans in these sections.
The diversity of the DYK sections is probably the most impressive to me as it showcases animation and story facts, cameos, character details, name translations and more. Here are ten new things (among many) that I learned from reading this book:
- Outside the scope of The Little Mermaid, Sebastian released two reggae albums.
- Minnie got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, long after Snow White (1987), Winnie The Pooh (2006) and Tinker Bell (2010).
- Marie, the small white kitten in The Aristocats, is named after Marie Antoinette. In the original concept art for the film, she was called Marie Antoinette, but his was later shortened.
- Moana’s name means “Ocean” in many Polynesian languages.
- Mulan’s name means “Magnolia” in Mandarin.
- Pinocchio means “pine seed” in Italian. He is made from a pine tree.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney princess to be based on a real person (John Smith is also based on a real person).
- The original pitch for Monsters, Inc. did not include Mike Wazowski.
- In an early draft of the script for The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s best friend was a dolphin named Breaker. This character was later replaced by Flounder.
- Miguel Rivera from Coco comes from the town of Santa Cecilia, named after the patron saint of music.
Conclusion? Disney Who’s Who is Good Fun and a Great Trivia Resource
Ultimately this book is lots of fun and there is certainly a lot to learn from it. Could Disney make a more comprehensive version of an A to Z guide which includes all its characters to date? Yes. Will they? Probably. In the meantime, this book serves as a great resource for curious young readers, Disney fans and trivia gurus alike.
Disney Who’s Who: An A to Z of Disney Characters is currently available for purchase on Amazon.