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During the interval which must elapse between the writing of this column and its appearance on the newsstands, Walt Disney's Man in Space will have had its second showing on television. Naturally I do not know how many viewers will tune in on the repeat showing, but the audience for the premiere, in March of this year, was around forty million. This, I may add in the very strictest confidence, was higher than we thought it would be while we were planning and making the film.

As far as I am concerned, it began with a long distance call from Hollywood — just as in the movies — asking me to come out and act as adviser. […]

The I sat in the beautiful air-conditioned studios of Walt Disney Productions in Burbank, California, I mentally weighed the problems involved. A nationwide network television show would have millions of Disney's name attached to it which meant that we must take nothing for granted. Writing such a script — at that moment, I still thought a script had to be written — would be entirely different from writing for publication, where you can take some things for granted.


On the other hand, the most instructive device invented so far was at our disposal: the animated cartoon. We would not have to explain with words, as I do in lectures; we could show how things work. As a means of visual instruction, this was superior even to ordinary film.

Sitting down with Ward Kimball, the director of the film, and his group of artists, I had the procedure explained to me. They don't have "scripts" at Disney's, at least not in the customary meaning of the word. […]