24 April 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Fictionalised account of animator's life, one of nine new productions to be staged by the company, will present a 'nightmarish' vision of Walt Disney

A new work by Philip Glass about Walt Disney will have its UK premiere at English National Opera (Eno) in June 2013. Glass's opera – his 24th – is based on Peter Stephan Jungk's 2004 novel The Perfect American, a fictionalised account of the final years of Walt Disney's life, described by Glass as "unimaginable, alarming and truly frightening". The novel, narrated by Wilhelm Dantine, a fictional Austrian cartoonist who worked for the animator in the 50s, mixes fact and fantasy, including meetings with Andy Warhol and Abraham Lincoln, to discover Disney's delusions of immortality and glimpse into his murky private life. He is controversially depicted as a racist, a misogynist and an antisemite.

La Times reviewer Richard Schickel called the book a "partially successful fiction ... [that asks us to] reflect on fame and »

- Imogen Tilden

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