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Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrow Land: Disney in Space and Beyond

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(May 18, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

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.


Before man ventured into space, Walt Disney took the nation there. This set of the Walt Disney Treasures consists of "Science Factual" shows that aired mostly in the 1950s. On the first disc, Ward Kimball, one of the company's ace animators, directs three 50-minute segments on space travel dealing with space flight, going to the moon, and going to Mars. A combination of lecture (by the tops in the field, including lead rocket designer Dr. Werner von Braun), animation, live-action segments, and models, the three segments are still relevant as they effortlessly teach such elements as why rockets are in stages, what is gravitational force, orbiting, air pressure, and even the psychological effects on the mind. It is impressive how easily these Tomorrowland features entertain audiences of all ages. Of course, some of the details are wrong, but the wonder is not, and the final segment--a most poetic survey about what life might be like on Mars--illustrates Disney animated magic at its best.

The second disc takes on weather reporting (including a James Bond-ish way of changing the weather), how satellites work, and the touchstone 1958 short "Our Friend the Atom," a staple of explaining the world of atomic energy. Shown for the first time in its entirety is an informative pitch for EPCOT. It's not a version of the theme park now in Florida, but Walt Disney's lyrical vision of a city of the future, a dream never realized with his death two months after filming in 1966. Leonard Maltin introduces each segment, putting it in historical context and noting some political incorrectness and oversights, like atomic energy having no downside. The programs still entertainingly show the promises of the future: humans on Mars seem so tangible, even though the space program lost its way in the forthcoming decades. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Only 105,000 sets issued
  • Disc One:
  • Man in Space
  • Man and the Moon
  • Mars and Beyond
  • Disc Two:
  • Eyes in Outer Space
  • Our Friend the Atom
  • "EPCOT" TV Special
  • Bonus Materials:
  • "The Optimistic Futurist"
  • "Marty Sklar, Walt, and EPCOT"
  • Publicity Gallery
  • Story and Background Art Gallery
  • Behind the Scenes Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Frees, Walt Disney, Clarence Nash, E.C. Slipher, Ernst Stuhlinger
  • Directors: Ward Kimball, Hamilton Luske, Jeff Kurtti
  • Writers: Chuck Downs, Con Pederson, Heinz Haber, John W. Dunn, Leonard Maltin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000BWVAI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,082 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrow Land: Disney in Space and Beyond" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
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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Disney completists, 1950s cultural collectors, animation fans, history buffs and sci/fi fans will be overjoyed with this set. I had never seen any of the material contained in this set before and now I can't keep these films out of my mind. I was amazed that Walt Disney had the guts to tackle these subjects in such a serious manner. Yet they aren't presented as fluff nor as a boring PBS documentary but some marvelous combination of the two. I've heard people tell of how they had seen these films in school as a supplement to their science educations. Now I can see why. You learn hard facts about the subjects of space travel, atoms, and rockets in an entertaining and unforgettable way. I think the Discovery Channel could learn a thing or two from these films.
The bulk of these films are live action, but the animation that is included is stunning in that it is so different looking from what we normally consider Disney. Animation fans will be pouring over these segments in awe. And as proof of Walt's forethought we are able to enjoy these shows in full technicolor.
Included as a bonus are two interviews. One with Ray Bradbury and the other with Marty Sklar. I can't overstate how excellent these interviews are. They both knew Walt personally and their accounts of working with him and his personality are priceless. As much as I loved the main features, I'm sure to be watching these interviews again and again.
Parents can easily allow their children to watch this set and they're sure to learn a thing or two. For the whole family, Tomorrowland is a triumph of ideas, entertainment and imagination.
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Verified Purchase
This package was originally scheduled for release last December. I drooled in anticipation of buying it, and then was disheartened to see its release had been pushed back six months. As soon as it was available on 18 May, 2004, I ordered it, and Amazon.com's standard delivery was lightning fast. My mailman handed it to me two days later.
When these shows originally aired in Black and White on the weekly Disneyland series in the mid 50s, I was just a little kid, and now only had faint memories of them. To see them in all their glory today, unedited, in beautiful Technicolor, is simply a joy. It's tough to find the words to express how absolutely stunning this set of films is. Enough has been said about what's on this Double-DVD set. A million words have been written about what a genius Walt Disney was. An artist. A visionary. An entertainment wizard. A futurist. He was one of a kind.
What you have here is over four hours of some of the best work ever to come out of the Disney studios. Some of it, such as the "Mars and Beyond" episode, is simply mind-boggling in its artistic beauty and haunting imagery. Some of its animation compares well with, and even exceeds "Fantasia", and I was even drawing some comparisons with Kubrick's "2001" as I watched the huge Mars-bound spaceships quietly marching off in a row towards the Red Planet. That segment alone is worth the price of this set. Walt's never-before-seen full promotional film of EPCOT, as he originally planned it (which is almost nothing like it ended up being built) is startling. I knew he had planned EPCOT to be an entire city. I had no idea just how well-planned his conception of it was.
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