TELEVISION - FALL 2021
For the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, I was fortunate to be included in the ABC News / 2020 special on the history of Walt Disney and the Disney Parks in the the States. This is an excellent program that explores personal connections between the Disney brothers and the parks, as well as the legacy of Disney World and of those who have worked there.
With 40,000 to 50,000 downloads each month, The DHI Podcast is one of the most popular animation and theme
park podcasts on the web. Topics range from the history of early American animation to the influence of video games on theme park design. Some episodes include interview segments with animators, artists, and other designers. Typically two episodes monthly. Extra and early episodes available with the Bandcamp Premium Podcast.
TELEVISION - SUMMER 2021
On Disney+, I'm a recurring on-screen guest for the series Behind the Attraction. It's a fabulous production, with unique historical footage, that explores the design history of centerpiece attractions at Disney parks, such as The Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World, etc. Five episodes are up and streaming now, with five more to follow in a second season.
MAGAZINE ARTICLE - JUN 2021
The June issue of The Writer features a craft article I wrote on non-verbal communication arranged into narration. Thanks to the team at The Writer for including it in their pages.
BOOK UPDATES - MAR 2020
Usually I don't post reviews in the "News" section, but, when I was young, Leonard Maltin (along with Michael Barrier) was one of the first adults I saw who approached the art and history of animation as a serious topic. He's posted a review of the Ward Kimball book (in which he calls it "a superb biography"). I'm very grateful for it. You can read it on his site here.
I’m the author of two books on the history of animation and the work of the Disney Studios: Three Years in Wonderland and The Life and Times of Ward Kimball. In addition to my non-fiction, I'm the author of the novel, The Australia Stories and the story collection, Newsworld, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was a finalist for the John Gardner Book Award and the Paterson Prize. My work has been published in Fiction, The Georgia Review, Harvard Review, The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, The Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Willow Springs. I live in a little town called Orcutt (just north of Santa Barbara, California) and co-direct the Creative Writing program at Cal Poly University. Lastly I'm the host of the DHI podcast, a monthly show focused on the history of animation and theme park development.
PODCAST UPDATES - JAN 2020
A great way to start the year - Smithsonian Magazine included the DHI Podcast on its shortlist of recommended podcasts in 2020. A big thanks go out to the editors of the magazine. Find the full article here. Find the DHI Podcast on iTunes. Find the premium version on Bandcamp.
PREMIUM PODCAST - APR 2019
The DHI Podcast is expanding into a Bandcamp subscription, with early releases and exclusive episodes not available anywhere else.
AUDIO BOOKS - APR 2019
Three Years in Wonderland has just been released as an audiobook from Tantor Media, with Al Kessel narrating.
AUDIO BOOKS - APR 2019
UPDATES - OCT 2018
I spent my morning reviewing the final page proofs for The Life and Times of Ward Kimball. Started the book years ago at The Daily Grind in Santa Barbara. This morning I finished the edits here, too. On shelves in three months.
NEW BOOK - MAY 2018
My next book, The Life and Times of Ward Kimball is now up for pre-order on Amazon and at other bookstores. For years, I've wanted to tell the story of the rise of animation and the development of the Disney Studios through the perspective of an animator. This book, which was years in the making, lays out Kimball's life, stone by stone, to tell the story of both the Studio and Kimball himself (his move from art to animation, his perspective on the devastating animators' strike of 1941; his experience leading the greatest Dixieland revival band of the 1950s, the Firehouse-Five Plus Two; his efforts on the Man in Space series, which helped lay the ground work for a national space program; and of course his quest to personalize and particularize American animation, blending high art influences into the commercial form). The manuscript is 440 pages. I expect the book, once fully laid out, to come in at about 350 pages (as book pages tend to hold more words than manuscript pages). It's a big, chunky love letter to the history of Disney animation, with nearly a thousand end note citations. The official pub date is Jan 15, 2019, but as books like this tend to come out slightly before their official date, I'm hopeful it will be out just in time for Christmas--or at least the Christmas holidays. Click here to put in your pre-order.
© 2013-2021 by Todd James Pierce.