Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walt Disney's " Man and the Moon " and " Mars and beyond "

It's the 40th Anniversary of the Man on the Moon and during the next three days Disney and more will do a special tribute to this memorable event. As this is a Disney fan site, we will have a look to the different Disney productions or attractions themed on the "space" theme.

Today the first article is all about the great TV series aired in the 50's "Man and the Moon" and "Mars and beyond". These series were done with the help of future NASA scientists and Walt, always visionary, asked Wernher Von Braun - who will designed later the Saturn 5 rocket for the Apollo missions - what could be his vision of the future space travels. It's also thanks to the series that President Ike Eisenhower after a private screening became more interested in the conquest of space, and then launched the space program...which finally will send a man on the moon!

What is less known is that genius movie director Stanley Kubrick took a lot of inspiration out of these series when he did ten years later his legendary "2001, A Space Odyssey" movie. Kubrick even paid a tribute to Disney animator Ward Kimball Director of the TV series. In the second part of "2001" some astronauts are sleeping "frozen" in a kind of sarcophagus during the long trip of the spaceship Discovery. And the name of one of them - written on the cryogenic coffin - is "Kimball", a tribute of Kubrick to Ward Kimball.

To come back to the TV series, Man and the Moon begin 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 Ward Kimball comes on with some information on the moon, supplemented by graphics. Kimball then introduces Wernher Von Braun, who discusses plans for a trip around the moon. Finally, a live action simulation from inside and outside the manned Lunar Reconn Ship RM-1 dramatizes what such an expedition might be like, including an almost-disastrous hit by a very small meteor.

Read the full article with artwork and videos of the TV series on the Disney and more Movies section HERE

Pictures: copyright Disney

No comments: