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Uploaded on Apr 17, 2011
Walt Disney began hosting his own television show for ABC in 1954 in an unusual contract: Disney provided ABC with a weekly hour-long television program in exchange for funding for the construction of Disneyland. As a result, the television show was also originally named Disneyland. The anthology series has since gone through a number of name changes over the years: Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, The Wonderful World of Disney, Disney's Wonderful World, Walt Disney, The Disney Sunday Movie, and The Magical World of Disney. The series spanned an incredible 54 years—13 seasons of which were hosted by Walt Disney, himself.
The episode begins with an introduction of Walt Disney and his robot friend Garco, who provide a brief overview of this episode, which starts with a look at mankind seeking to understand his world, first noticing patterns in the stars. He develops beliefs regarding the celestial bodies. Theories from scientists and philosophers are discussed. Ptolemy's inaccurate but formerly-accepted theories are discussed, as are those of Copernicus. Life on other planets is considered, soon focusing on Mars. Ideas from science-fiction authors H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs are brought to life with colorful animation. Pulp science fiction comics of the time are parodied. Then the program adopts a serious tone as it profiles each of the planets in the solar system, from the perspective of what would happen to man on them. The claim is that whereas most of the planets are either too cold or too hot for life as we know it, life on Mars could almost be normal, something that is of importance for the future. Dr. E.C. Slipher then discusses Mars and the possibility that life already exists there. More animation speculates what the conditions on Mars might be like. This section is filled with striking, inventive and decidedly atypical Disney animation. The show wraps up with what a trip to Mars would entail for a space crew and its vessels. Contributor/spacecraft designer Ernst Stuhlinger presents his design and details regarding a unique umbrella-shaped MarsShip: the top portion is a revolving outer quarters ring providing artificial gravity for the crew of 20, under "parasol" coolant tubes. At the other end is a sodium-potassium reactor to provide power to the midsection electric/ion drive. Attached upright is a chemically-fueled winged tail-lander. The mission shown involves six MarsShips, ultimately reaching 100,000 MPH, taking a 400-day spiral course to Mars where they would spend 412 days on the surface before returning.
Aired on Wednesday, December 4th, 1957 on ABC at 7:30pm Aired on Wednesday, June 11th, 1958 on ABC at 7:30pm