Gift ideas -- choicest new books for the holidays; Walt Disney and his career; Walt Disney's World of Fantasy, by Adrian Bailey. New York: Everest House. 252 pp. $35.

Without getting much below the surface, Adrian Bailey chronicles Walt Disney's career, from before Mickey Mouse to Disneyland and beyond. There's drama to the yarn - lean years, flop movies, a strike against the Disney empire. But most of the story, including the luscious photos from legendary Disney films , aptly reflects the spirit of the great cartoon-conjurer who gave the sorceror in ''Fantasia'' his own name in reverse - Yensid - and decorated every animation desk in his studio with the motto ''Keep it cute.''

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