Walt Disney, who has won more movie Oscars than any other Hollywood personality, had better build a few more shelves for the cabinets that store his awards. Because theres little doubt that his new Disneyland show will dominate the major TV program tourneys this year.
The new hour-long ABC program, combining the best of Disneys animated cartoon techniques and live action photography, is the nicest thing thats happened to TV this season.
Webster defines the word "genius" as a person endowed with extraordinary creative imagination. And Disney can lay claim to it with little fear of argument. Whether Disneyland is involved with his delightful cartoon characters or with his wonderful film studies of nature and wild life, the show reflects his distinctive gifts. And even though the first few episodes depended on some of the masters early efforts, they gave promise of the fine things in store during the rest of the season.
Its no secret that Disney is using the show to publicize to a nationwide audience the Disneyland Park that he is building in Southern California. The program, just as the park will be, is divided into four categories, each of which will receive equal emphasis during the year. These are Fantasyland (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, et al), Frontierland (Davy Crockett), Adventureland (the wild -life films) and Tomorrowland (science fiction).
Obviously, though Disney could rely on material originally produced for the movie theaters, hes creating considerable new stuff for TV.
Here is one show that cries out for color. "Alice in Wonderland," delightful on the program, still lacked that added dimension of color that it had as a feature-length movie. And we have heard parents complain that the time period should be moved up. The show is telecast in many cities from 7:30 to 8:30 Wednesday nights, and the kids cant be budged until it is finished. That final half-hour, opposite Arthur Godfrey, also makes it a competitive feather in ABCs cap.