WHEN the mouse called Mickey first flickered on the screens more than 26 years ago in "Steamboat Willie," it's doubtful if even a miniscule glint of coming attractions passed before his creator's eye. But the pioneer of magic, not too long afterward, audaciously stretched the cartoon to feature-length, added a "new" sound to the sound track long before "stereophonic" or "hi-fi" became part of the vocabulary, and fused animation and live-action.
This was only the beginning, folks. Technological expansion extended beyond the cartoon into the realm of nature and from the almost unheard of three-reeler to full length studies. Independent producer Disney also became independent distributor Disney, movie-maker Disney has just become television showman Disney and artist Disney is about to become entertainment entrepreneur Disney. For Walt, the wizard of Burbank, has just embarked on his, and probably show business most costly, mammoth single venture, a $9,000,000 enterprise of fun called Disneyland.
That's also, and not coincidentally, the name of the hour-long television show which, everybody must know by now, the Walt Disney organization is presenting weekly over the ABC network. Like its namesake, it features the four lands of Fantasy, Frontier, Tomorrow and Adventure. The quartet of sources will alternate weekly, although not necessarily in any particular order.