It is rare to ﬁnd a book that is equally satisfying for its scholarly
rigor and for its compulsively readable style. The Making of Jane Aus-
ten is a true delight in this sense—witty, engaging, accessible, and a
welcome antidote to the scholarly monograph that alienates or
excludes a nonacademic audience. This is a genuinely exciting study
that is long overdue for literary scholars and cultural historians, and
its value to popular culture studies is equally compelling.
Western Michigan University
Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation. Mindy
Johnson. Disney Editions, 2017. 384 pp. $60.00 cloth.
One of extraordinary aspects of animation is its ability to evoke
the illusion of life. Many of the dazzling effects within the Disney
canon—the raindrops in Bambi, the glowing dandelions in Fantasia,
the transformation of Cinderella’s ball gown, Tinker Bell’s fairy
dust—were meticulously painted by the women in Disney’s Ink &
Paint Department. The efforts of these women, who painted the
backs of slippery celluloid, or traced the lines of characters with the
precision of Renaissance draftsmen, have been largely overlooked.
Many of us know about the “Nine Old Men,” Walt Disney’s key ani-
mators who dominated the production of ﬁlms from the 1930s to the
1970s, but few of us know about the hundreds of women who
worked in the studio. Mindy Johnson’s book, Ink & Paint: The Women
of Walt Disney’s Animation, is an exhaustive chronicle of these women.
Johnson expertly focuses on the variety of jobs that women took on
at Disney from the time that Walt and Roy Disney ﬁrst founded the
Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Los Angeles in 1923 to the expan-
sion of the studio’s operations from its current location in Burbank.
Proﬁles of various employees stand out to give the reader a vivid
sense of studio life from the 1920s to the 1990s. They also give us a
sense of the arduous climb that women made to achieve credibility in
a male-dominated environment. There is Hazel Sewell, Walt Disney’s
sister-in-law, who ran the Ink & Paint division during the 1930s and
set the standard for production practices that lasted until the 1960s.
There is Grace Huntington, one of the ﬁrst female story artists in the