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Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland - Disney In Space And Beyond


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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Gerstle, Richard Emory, Frank Connor, Leo Needham, Ward Kimball
  • Directors: Ward Kimball, Hamilton Luske, Jeff Kurtti
  • Writers: Heinz Haber, Chuck Downs, Con Pederson, John W. Dunn, Leonard Maltin
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
  • Release Date: May 18 2004
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000BWVAI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,555 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Walt Disney was a true visionary, and his most far-reaching vision examined the future. During the 1950s, his investigation into space exploration and the wondrous opportunities and challenges of space travel not only came alive in several Disneyland TV shows, but helped create strong public support for The United States space program. Go back in time to the beginning of the future and enjoy four episodes and a theatrical short that delve into the mysteries of the universe and space travel -- "Man In Space," "Man And The Moon," "Mars And Beyond," "Eyes In Outer Space," and "Our Friend The Atom." You'll also get a rare look at Walt's last film, "EPCOT," in which he reveals his concepts and plans for the Disney World and EPCOT projects. Other not-to-be-missed features include a special interview with noted futurist and author Ray Bradbury. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Edwards on March 21 2004
(...)
The contents of these shows are very special - entertaining, educational, and important historically. The first 3 TV shows usually had a fun, animated story for the first half of the show with scientists in the second half giving scientific info on how future space flights might be possible, based on the facts known in the 1950s. All three TV shows were directed by animator/director Ward Kimball.
Man In Space (3/9/55) Walt Disney introduces the show and then turns over the program to director Ward Kimball. The animated story concerns the development of rockets, the action/reaction principle, Jules Verne writing his story "From The Earth To The Moon", a humorous depiction of the medical challenges to man surviving a space trip - such as acceleration, pressure, weightlessness, radiation, and eating/drinking. Later scientists Willy Ley, Heinz Haber, and Wernher von Braun help explain the challenges of space travel and what a space rocket would probably look like.
Man And The Moon (12/28/55) This show was later shown in 1959 as "Tomorrow The Moon". Walt Disney introduces the show and shows scenes from the Disneyland attraction "Rocket Ship To The Moon". Walt then turns the show over to director Ward Kimball. There is a fun animated segment about man's superstitions about the moon over the ages, including stories about trips to the moon and the creatures found there. Literary references to the moon and songs about the moon are shown. Scientist Wernher von Braun introduces how scientists were preparing for a flight to the moon at that time. There is a nice live action/special effects rocket ship flight that photographs the back side of the moon.
Mars And Beyond (12/4/57) This is my favorite of these TV shows.
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I saw all these shows except "Eyes In Outer Space" & the EPCOT promotional film, when they were originally broadcast, when I was very young, and they began my education in science and astronomy. Seeing them again 50 years later is a blast. First off, they look GREAT! They are immensely interesting and very entertaining. The stuff they predict correctly is amazing. The first show basically lays out what became the space shuttle program very accurately. In "Mars & Beyond" it apparently didn't occur to them that we would send unmanned probes before sending men. They don't get the first moon trip right. No ships were built in space, and we went to the moon before building any space stations, and to go all the way to the moon and just come back after ONE orbit would have been idiotic. Needless to say, our first trip to the moon involved orbiting for a while. Of course, on the second trip, we landed.
But there's disturbing aspects to these shows also. First off, most of the scientists whom Walt has explain rocketry to us are NAZIS, like Werner Von Braun. They mention his developing of rockets, but omit that he did it for Hitler to use murdering people in England!. When a German scientist, in "Our Friend The Atom" asks what three wishes we should ask of atomic energy, and then says, "Our first wish is for POWER!" I was completely creeped out. We're supposed to just forget that these men had no compunctions about letting Hitler use their genius for mass murder. These guys weren't Mousekateers. They were war criminals who we took for our space programs. They apparently didn't care who they built weapons for. That's what we call whores. It was just ten years after World War II, and Disney was bringing these Nazis into our living rooms to teach our kids. Ew!
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To say the least, this collection features some of the greatest animation ever produced for television, if not ever. Mind blowing, wildly inventive, and overwhelming. Ward Kimball, I would argue (with this set as evidence), was Disney's greatest animator, and, when you consider the starchy conservative reputation Disney had during the mid-50s, it's astonishing to consider how willing and trusting he was to both hand over creative control to Kimball, and to present this profoundly innovative and often extremely abstract animation to the common public. It goes a long way toward the potential for discussing Disney as being far more complex than the overly reductive dismissal of him as reactionary moralist in the cultural realm. In addition, this set encapsulates the bright-eyed utopianism of the era better than any other pop culture artifact, the mood and representation of which clearly informed Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (it also sheds light on the somewhat disturbing Germanic influence on the technology of the space age).
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Well, I came along too late to have seen these programs on t.v. in the fifties. But I can't imagine I would have enjoyed them anymore than I did today! I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the "Tomorrowland" programs may be the BEST documentaries I have ever seen. Who else but Walt Disney (teaming up with space exploration pioneers like Willie Ley and Warner Von Braun) could make a series like this that ANYONE can enjoy, even 50 years after their release?
Yes, some of the speculative material therein has been proven wrong over the years. That's part of their charm...the people who made these things seem certain that their ideas would become reality. And speaking of charm, anyone with even a passing interest in the history of animation simply MUST have this set. I don't think any other Disney production looks quite like this. The episode on Mars in particular contains some of the most bizarre images, animated or otherwise, to ever appear on screen.
I would highly recommend this to anyone (1)like I said, with an interest in animation; (2)interested in the history of astronomy; (3)who likes 50's science-fiction or science-fact. And of course, anyone who likes classic Disney should have bought this one already.
If I had the money I'd buy it FOR you. But I don't...so do yourself a favor and get this one before it's gone.
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