Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Magic Highway USA - May 14, 1958

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of one of my favorite pieces of Disney entertainment. This occasion will likely go unnoticed by most; its subject is not a high profile animated feature nor a celebrated character. It was a simple one hour program that was broadcast on the Disneyland television show on May 14, 1958, yet it spoke to the idealism and optimism of a generation now five decades removed. Magic Highway USA is a happy reminder of a Disney dynamic of edu-tainment that in fact predated the likes of EPCOT Center by nearly twenty five years and was rooted in Walt Disney's then symbiotic television and theme park endeavors.

I have lauded and celebrated this Ward Kimball-created presentation in prior posts and was very happy to later be able to present the program's final and visually arresting "Road Ahead" segment.

If you haven't already, check out those earlier articles for some fun and informative rides on the Magic Highway.

6 comments:

Cory Gross said...

The more clips I've seen of this, the more I wish it was on the Tomorrowland DVD. Is there enough other material out there for a Tomorrowland 2? *fingers crossed*

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

This is a fabulous piece of Disneyland history that has been reborn again and again through its use and as new enthusiasts come to recognize its weight. Thanks for sharing it with us once again Jeff, I never tire of hearing about it!

Darrin said...

I always thought the Jetsons was the first to glimpse future living, but it looks like the Jetsons borrowed it from Disney.

アメリカ留学 said...

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Maz said...

I followed the links and am greatful that I did. The whole view of the future is amazing from so long ago. Especially the almighty Atom. The first thing that came to mind was one of the games in the Spaceship Earth Post-show. It is the Siemens view of cars on the highway. Including the radar see through the fog as mentioned in the clip.

Greg Maletic said...

It continues to blow my mind that this was left off of the Tomorrowland DVD; it's better than anything else that was included. I taped it off of the Disney Channel over a decade ago and watch it all the time.

I had ambitions to make an animated short just like this, but once I saw it, I knew there was no point; the short I'd been dreaming of had already been done.