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Disney to Publish Historical Cinderella Book

Disney Press will publish a new edition of CINDERELLA featuring artwork by long-time Disney designer Mary Blair, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY reports. The book, with new text by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations based on Blair's design work from the 1940s, is due out this month. Disney Press ordered a first print run of 50,000.

Blair was one of Disney Studios' top artists before turning to children's book illustration and other graphic pursuits in the mid-1950s. Her distinctive style set the tone for such Disney classics as ALICE IN WONDERLAND and PETER PAN, as well as the 1950 film version of CINDERELLA.

The stage was set for the new publication by the great success of John Canemaker's 2003 coffee-table book THE ART AND FLAIR OF MARY BLAIR, which was embraced by critics, film students, and collectors of Disneyana. CINDERELLA was conceived as a way to bring Blair's art to a younger audience.

Because Blair's work is highly prized by collectors, some of the original paintings for CINDERELLA were in private collections. "Certain paintings we had to borrow," said Nancy Inteli, executive editor at Disney Press. "However, people are always happy to have their pieces reproduced in this kind of volume. It increases the value."

Inteli will plumb the Disney archives again for ALICE IN WONDERLAND, another Blair-inspired book, to be published in fall 2008. There are also plans to produce a version of Disney's PETER PAN for fall 2009.