VU in the News

VU in the News

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VU professor and Disney insider details legendary company’s innovative storytelling in new book

October 20, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University Visiting Professor Newton Lee is co-author of a new book on The Walt Disney Company’s use of technological innovation to create characters and stories that engage audiences in many different media from early film to today’s video games and online environments.

Lee authored the second edition of the 2020 textbook, “Disney Stories: Getting to Digital”, with Georgia Tech Professor Krystina Madej.

Disney Stories: Getting to Digital” chronicles Lee’s 10-year stint with The Walt Disney Company serving as a senior staff engineer and senior producer of more than 100 online games for children. 

During his tenure at Disney, Lee founded the Disney Online Technology Forum— a community of resources and conversations with monthly meetups at Disney offices in Los Angeles. He was active in Disney's employee volunteer program (known as VoluntEARS), earning four project leadership awards.

“Disney exemplifies the creative and financial success of Transmedia storytelling with books, movies, TV shows, music, Broadway musicals, toys, theme parks, and of course video games,” Lee said.

Disney stories are, more than ever, present across all media. 

The second edition further provides key moments in the development of animated films as they evolved to embrace digital technology. The stories-across-media theme includes Disney’s new “Star Wars” films and Galaxy’s Edge at Disney theme parks which allow audiences to enjoy the animatronic character Hondo Ohnaka on their way to see the Millennium Falcon in an across-media digital experience.

Associate for Computing Machinery Fellow and Turing Award laureate Dr. Alan Kay lauded the book in his review: “An affectionate portrait of how 'the mouse' learned to use the mouse.”

The book is optional for the game design courses in the VU Information Technology Department and is a required textbook at the Georgia Tech School of Literature, Media, and Communication.

“Disney Stories is a great companion book for game design students at VU,” Lee said. “It shows students that game design is not a standalone field in a silo, but it is more of a cross-disciplinary and across-media experiential design.”

VU’s Programming and Game Development Degree provides students with unique opportunities. They get hands-on experience, learn how to design and develop video games on multiple platforms as well as how to publish and market software applications.

"Disney Stories: Getting to Digital" is published by Springer Nature.

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