By Steve Daly
Updated November 06, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Hosted by Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man and His Magic examines Disney’s self-created kiddie-host persona with remarkable candor. Using a vast, Myst-style hall as the point of departure, you can step into various ”galleries” devoted to Disney’s life and works, and though the former are the most personal — lots of home-movie footage of family trips and gatherings — it’s the latter that truly illuminate. Among a roster of essays, you’ll find one on Walt’s volcanic management style (one employee recalls that Disney could be ”a son of a bitch”) and a handy thumbnail dossier on his most talented animators — something credit-stingy Walt would never have produced. There’s no mistaking this for truly objective work (especially if you click on links to the Disney Co.’s gratingly commercial websites), but it’s miles ahead of your average A&E Biography. B+

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