The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age

  • 8h 43m 14s
  • Jake S. Friedman
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2022

An essential piece of Disney history has been unreported for eighty years.

Soon after the birth of Mickey Mouse, one animator raised the Disney Studio far beyond Walt's expectations. That animator also led a union war that almost destroyed it. Art Babbitt animated for the Disney studio throughout the 1930s and through 1941, years in which he and Walt were jointly driven to elevate animation as an art form, up through Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

But as America prepared for World War II, labor unions spread across Hollywood. Disney fought the unions while Babbitt embraced them. Soon, angry Disney cartoon characters graced picket signs as hundreds of animation artists went out on strike. Adding fuel to the fire was Willie Bioff, one of Al Capone's wise guys who was seizing control of Hollywood workers and vied for the animators' union.

Using never-before-seen research from previously lost records, including conversation transcriptions from within the studio walls, author and historian Jake S. Friedman reveals the details behind the labor dispute that changed animation and Hollywood forever.

About the Author

Jake S. Friedman is an animation historian and author of The Art of Blue Sky Studios and The Disney Afternoon. He has appeared as an expert on TV documentaries and written for Animation Magazine, American History magazine, the Huffington Post, and Philadelphia Daily News. He worked for ten years as an animation artist on television shows and features, and now works as a mental health specialist, teaching the occasional history of animation course at NYU or FIT. He lives with his wife in New York City.

In this Audiobook

  • Chapter 1 - My Father Was a Socialist
  • Chapter 2 - Poor and Starving
  • Chapter 3 - The Value of Loyalty
  • Chapter 4 - Arthur Babbitt: Hell-Raiser
  • Chapter 5 - Fighting for His Salary
  • Chapter 6 - You Can’t Draw Your Ass
  • Chapter 7 - The Disney Art School
  • Chapter 8 - Three Little Pigs
  • Chapter 9 - Enter Bioffsky
  • Chapter 10 - The Cult of Personality
  • Chapter 11 - A Feature-Length Cartoon
  • Chapter 12 - Bioff Stakes His Claim
  • Chapter 13 - A Drunken Mouse
  • Chapter 14 - Disney’s Folly
  • Chapter 15 - Defense Against the Enemy
  • Chapter 16 - A Growing Divide
  • Chapter 17 - The Norconian
  • Chapter 18 - A Wooden Boy and a World War
  • Chapter 19 - Dreams Shattered
  • Chapter 20 - Hilberman, Sorrell, and Bioff
  • Chapter 21 - The Federation Versus the Guild
  • Chapter 22 - The Guild and Babbitt
  • Chapter 23 - Disney Versus the Labor Board
  • Chapter 24 - The Final Strike Vote
  • Chapter 25 - Strike!
  • Chapter 26 - The Big Stick
  • Chapter 27 - The 21 Club
  • Chapter 28 - Willie Bioff and Walt Disney
  • Chapter 29 - The Guild and the CIO
  • Chapter 30 - Not the Drawing
  • Chapter 31 - The Final Goodbye
  • Chapter 32 - And They Lived