Hi Bookish Friends!
I’m writing to you from my sick bed. It has been my intention to write this review days ago, but I was struck with a cold/fever for the past couple of days. I finally gave up and took a day off which in turn gave me some time to lay around, contemplate life, and also write this review. So without further ado, here it finally is… The Lady From The Black Lagoon!
For anybody who also happens to follow me on Instagram, you would have seen me post endless quotes from this book. The Lady From The Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara tells the story of Mallory, a producer, and screenwriter on her quest to find out more about Milicent Patrick, one of Walt Disney’s first female animators and designer of the monster from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (phew, that’s a mouthful). Now, full disclaimer, when you are reading this book, it will not only be a history of Milicent Patrick but also of the author’s process of finding this information and experience in the film industry as well. Some people will not like that. I found that it added more dimension to the story.
We learn that Milicent was one of the first female Disney animators, although she had claimed sometimes to being the first, and helped animate scenes in the classic Fantasia. So many of us grew up watching Fantasia, myself included, but we never really appreciate the time and art that goes into making films such as those. O’Meara goes over the process in detail and wow, I wanted to stop reading and watch the film and see if I can point out what was Milicent’s work. Which I did. I looked it up on gold ol’ YouTube. It really is a work of art, and if you haven’t watched it in a long time, it’s worth it. But it does make me sad that Milicent, along with other female animators and artists, never got their credit.
Not only does O’Meara speak about Milicent’s life and how it came to be that she got no credit for her part in the film industry, but she goes over many truths that are still prevalent today. For most of history, men have taken control of almost every facet of society, the film industry included. It’s only until recently that women are saying #TimesUp to all the injustice. Just how now we are giving voices to the countless women in the film industry, O’Meara attempts to do the same to Milicent. She wasn’t perfect, or extraordinary, but she loved art and films and wanted to be a part of that. Because of over-egotistical men (one man in particular), her name was wiped out, and she stayed quiet as so many women do.
Don’t go into this book expecting concrete answers and a full-on biography of Milicent. We get most of her life, yes, but we also get truth-bomb as to why things get hidden and how we can help.
Until next time.
Read Something Wonder & Stay Curious