Illustrated Letters of Roland E. Hill
Designer of the Disneyland Castle - From the Great War and Beyond: A Son Discovers His Father
by Roland Hill, Jack Hill (Introduction)
Pub Date 10 Apr 2019
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In this thrilling collection of wartime correspondences, Roland E. Hill (a motion picture Art Director and designer of Disneyland’s “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle”) brings to life through vivid description and colored pencil sketches his World War I adventures as an aviator, from a terrifying mid-air collision and multiple “smashes” to heady victory celebrations on the Champs Elysées after the Armistice. Includes never-before-published drawings by Pablo Picasso and Walt Disney.
During his time in the US Army Air Service in France in 1918 and his later architectural studies in Paris, Roland E. Hill reported back to his family on the home-front through a series of letters and illustrations which bring to life his adventures in vivid descriptions replete with suspense, surprise, romance, tragedy, and what would be unexpected plot twists, were this a novel.
Early letters cover Hill’s flight training in Texas, including a mid-air collision; a submarine scare during the voyage to France on a troopship; combat flight training in France; his involvement in a tragic romantic triangle, and dodging Military Police while AWOL in Paris.
After the war, Roland returned to Paris to study architecture—and incidentally became involved with the iconic French artist’s model and cabaret singer known as Kiki de Montparnasse, two portraits of whom by Pablo Picasso were given to him by that artist himself. From there, he went on to Hollywood, where he eventually designed the “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” for Disneyland.
Hill’s son, legendary cult-film director Jack Hill (Spider Baby, Foxy Brown, Switchblade Sisters) has provided a comprehensive introduction as well as supplementary notes and an epilogue, which includes further illustrations and details of his father’s career and as designer of the Disneyland Castle.