Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade
Amazonian
Advertisements

Advertisements

Search
Advertisements

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in tomorrowland (13)

Thursday
Jul052007

Disney Calls Future a Thing of the Past (1997)

As I've argued before 1997 can be seen as the year that postmodern paleo-futurism went mainstream. Disney's self-aware redesign of Tomorrowland meant that mainstream American culture was out of ideas for the future.

It was as though the people at Disney were throwing up their hands and saying, "The year 2000 is just around the corner! Without flying cars we've got nothing! Check your parent's attic, there must be something cool up there!"

The most sincere and sentimental company in America had decided to simply co-opt past visions of the future.

The excerpt below is taken from a February 23, 1997 New York Times article that sums up the Tomorrowland redesign and what it meant for futurism.

''The new Tomorrowland begins with Jules Verne and ends with Buck Rogers,'' said Beth Dunlop, a Florida architecture critic who recently released a company-approved book on Disney architecture.

Tomorrowland is hardly alone. The future is growing old all over Disney's magic kingdom. From the film lot to the Epcot theme park to the real-life town that the company calls Celebration, Disney has largely given up on imagining a new future. When a story line or ride design calls for a touch of times to come, it is usually, as posters for the new Tomorrowland boast, ''the future that never was.''

The shift is profound for a company whose founder was one of postwar America's great popularizers of technology. And it is a reflection of the ennui that many Americans, at century's end, feel about the chips and bits in which they are immersed.

''We went to the Moon and all we got out of it was Teflon pans,'' said Karal Ann Marling, a professor of art history and American studies at the University of Minnesota, expressing an increasingly common attitude.

''Our goals as a people are not these pie-in-the-sky objectives that people grew up with in the 50's,'' said Professor Marling, who is the curator for a Montreal exhibit in June on Disney theme park architecture. ''They settle now for a house in the suburbs and to hell with the Moon. What's the point of building monorails if we can hardly get the car to work?''

See also:
Postmodern Paleo-Future
Article for MungBeing

Monday
May282007

Space Station X-1 (circa 1955)


The image above is from an insert in the Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond DVD set. The image was used in Disneyland as the poster for the Space Station X-1 attraction.

Space Station X-1 invited Disneyland guests to circle the earth from fifty miles up for a satellite view of America.

See also:
Tomorrowland, Disneyland Opening Day (1955)
Walt Disney Explaining the Carousel of Progress to General Electric (1964)

Monday
Apr232007

Tomorrowland, Disneyland Opening Day (1955)

Yes, this is Tomorrowland. And it's not a stylized dream of the future but a scientifically planned projection of future techniques by leading space experts in science.

This clip from Tomorrowland during the 1955 live broadcast of Disneyland's opening day shows the same brand of optimism we often see in 1950's predictions of the future.

 

 

You can see the entire broadcast of the opening of Disneyland on the DVD Walt Disney Treasures - Disneyland USA.

See also:
Walt Disney and City Planning

Wednesday
Mar212007

Animal Life on Mars (1957)

In the 1957 Disneyland TV program and subsequent theatrical release of the film, Mars and Beyond speculated what astronauts would eventually find on the red planet. There were some interesting predictions of what animals future humans could find.





You can view a clip of the program here and you can find this program on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond.

 See also:

Plant Life on Mars (1957) 
Mars and Beyond (1957)

Wednesday
Mar142007

Plant Life on Mars (1957)

We looked at how Disney portrayed humans living on Mars in the 1957 Disneyland TV show "Mars and Beyond" but the depiction of possible plants on Mars may be even more imaginative.

According to Steven Watts in his book The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life (p. 309):


"[Mars and Beyond] was the most speculative program [and] it veered near the realm of science fiction with its imaginative description of possible life forms on the planet, [and] Martian weather conditions..."

 




You can view a clip of the program here and you can find this program in its entirety on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond.

See also:
Mars and Beyond (1957) 

Sunday
Mar042007

Walt Disney and City Planning

"Imagineers said that when they were planning Tomorrowland, Walt would carry around books on city planning and mutter about traffic, noise, and neon signs, and he kept three volumes in his office to which he frequently referred: Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Sir Ebenezer Howard (originally published in 1902 and reissued in 1965), which promoted a vision of a more pastoral urban life; and The Heart of Our Cities and Out of a Fair, a City, both by an architect and mall designer name Victor Gruen, who urged the reconceptualization of the city as more ordered, rational and humane."

(excerpted from p. 608 in Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler)

Also, it looks like a new 2007 edition of Garden Cities of Tomorrow just came out.

Page 1 2