Today on Far Future Horizons we present the second installment of Walt Disney’s acclaimed television series Man in Space depicting the human future in space.
Man and the Moon was the second featurette installment of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland specials of Man in Space, which originally aired on December 28, 1955. It was directed by Disney animator Ward Kimball, and is about the Moon. It begins with a humorous look with Man’s fascination with the Moon through animation. This segment features the Moon’s usage in everything from William Shakespeare and children’s nursery rhymes to lunar superstitions and scientific research. Then Kimball comes on with some information on the moon, supplemented by graphics. Kimball then introduces Dr. Wernher Von Braun, who discusses plans for a trip around the moon.
This episode was converted into a 32 page comic book (“Dell Comics” (#716)) in 1956. Under the title Walt Disney’s Man in Space: A Science Feature from Tomorrowland. It was actually a “novelization” in comic book form of 2 Walt Disney television programs “Man in Space” (1955) and “Tomorrow the Moon” (1955). Also found as a 1956 UK reprint as “A World Distributors Movie Classic” (#45) and a 1959 combined reprint with the other 2 Dell Comics adaptations of “Man in Space” films as: “Walt Disney’s Man in Space” (“Dell Comics Giant” #27). It was also made into a “Tomorrowland adventure” book for classroom use in 1959 as Man in Space: A Tomorrowland Adventure. Walt Disney Productions. Adapted for school use by Ley, Willy. Illustrated by Carbe, Nino. Syracuse, NY: LW Singer Co. Inc. (48 p.) 21 cm. Softcover.
It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. It was released on DVD in 2004 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures line. The next episode in this series was Man and the Moon followed by Mars and Beyond.
It was through this series of programs that Wernher von Braun was able to sell Americans on the exciting possibilities of Space Exploration and Colonization.
The entire collection of Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrow Land: Disney in Space and Beyond is available on DVD from Amazon.com.