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Wednesday, 19 December 2007

"Magic Highway USA" Ward Kimball - Disneyland TV (Visions of Future Past 4)










What future did Disney envisage for us fifty years ago? Magic Highway USA written and produced by Ward Kimball is a straight-faced examination of the crystal ball. It's fascinating. Tubes in the sky, moving elevators to render window shopping that much easier, personal parking zones in the sky, undersea highways, huge screens posted along magnificent motorways directing traffic and providing traffic information, and even, thanks be to heaven, similar screens on the dashboard. It's a golden Disney age. Look at the screenshot and dream; though Disney did not get everything correct. Father, mother and child travel together though only father works, high in the sky, mother and child having the ordeal of shopping together. Modern families! And no congestion. Huge machines will lay roadway like toothpaste from the tube whilst vast, readily assembled and self-propelled bridges will manoeuvre into position. Halcyon Disney days and, putting to one side any cynicism about what has in fact transpired, it's wonderfully optimistic, a different age certainly. And fifty years ago Disney was producing animation of this quality! A most informative article with still images is included on the 2719 Hyperion blog. It provides so much detail about Disney. Another excellent article, this time about Ward Kimball, is included in the very readable Animation Blast. Ward is described as "the quintessential animator" by the writer Amid Amidi who knew him well. Ward died in 2002. The link is to a eight minute section of a longer episode.

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