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Barbara Jo Allen,
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WHEN THIS ANTHOLOGY came to TV via the ABC Network in the Autumn of 1954, it had a sort of pre-installed reverence that no other program could dream of. Mr. Disney had garnered himself a reputation that was far above any other producer in Hollywood. Approaching, but falling just short of full Canonization, it was one of his true short comings on planet Earth.
AFTER HIS EARLY years in native, Chicago, the Disney family moved to Kansas City, Missouri; where the young Disney became a commercial artist, producing filmed ads for local businesses. These short animations would be the first Disney cartoons to be shown in the movie houses.
FOLLOWING SOME SETBACKS with people such as film producer/distributor Margaret Winkler over OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT, he turned to a Mouse and, well, we all know the rest.
HAVING MADE HIS mark in both the animated and live action productions insured that the new DISNEYLAND Show (original title) would surely embrace a "diversity" of sorts. Various program episodes were assembled from Disney's considerable backlog of cartoons and full length features. Others were live action series (or rather mini series) newly produced just for television. (Ever hear of Davy Crockett?)
TWO OTHER AREAS that comprised the show's rotation of subjects were bold forays into the worlds of science. One was biological; chronicling the life of wild animals and the habitats in which they live. The other brought us reports of what scientific research was bringing us to our daily lives. Being right on the cusp leading to the Space Race, rocketry and future space travel were prominent subject to be investigated, dissected and rendered understandable to even the youngest of viewers.
IN ESTABLISHING A format for the show, it was decided to partition the Kingdom of DISNEYLAND into four separate, smaller components. The separation was accomplished along the line of subject matter as follows:
Fantasyland: Fictional live action, animation.
Frontierland: Historical filmed series.
Tomorrowland: Science and the technological developments.
Adventureland: The True Life Adventures, Animals and Nature.
NOT SO COINCEDENTALLY all of these names were also the designations assigned to the various sections of the newly opened DISNEYLAND Theme Park. In addition to being a talented artist, great judge of talent & the public's tastes, Walt was obviously a $hrewd Promoter and Bu$ine$$ Man!
THE BATTING ORDER (or more properly, the STARTING ROTATION) insured both variety and balance in programing. The interest of the viewer-ship was maintained at a high level; as we were kept on the edge of our figurative chairs, wondering what next week's show would bring us.
WHERE ELSE COULD we travel to so many various lands without leaving the comfort of our living room's TV set?
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