Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. The program showcased original works from the Disney Studios. Cartoons, documentaries, educational shorts, all were shown to a captive worldwide audience. Variety was the key to its success, as it kept most of what it did fresh, multi-cultural and constantly changing its entertainment.
Once again, Disneyland plays host to Winston Hibler, the familiar narrator (and sometimes writer/director) of Disney's ""True-Life Adventures"" short subject series. Hibler describes the various techniques used for making such up-close-and-personal nature documentaries as the then-upcoming Disney theatrical feature Secrets of Life, including the development of miniature lense and stroboscopic ""cold"" light. Highlights include a foray into a beehive and a visit to an ant colony, and a time-lapse-photography sequence of blossoming plant life to the tune of Maurice Ravel's ""Bolero"". Searching for Nature's Mysteries originally aired 2 months before the official November 20, 1956 release of Secrets of Life.
Walt explains a principle of his style of animation called ""the plausible impossible,"" in which things that cannot be done in reality can be done in animation if there is a plausible basis for it. He uses clips from several cartoons and features to demonstrate.
Walt takes us on the famous Oregon Trail, a pathway from Kansas City to Oregon, where the settlers moved westward. And speaking of westward, We also go behind the scenes of the new Disny feature Westward Ho the Wagons! with the famous Fess Parker himself.
It's Donald's birthday, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie are thrown a party by their uncle in honor of his own birthday! He treats the boys to special home screenings of his own movies on 8mm film reels, but they want to watch the Mickey Mouse and Goofy cartoons. Adding insult to injury, the boys would rather watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV.
Walt Disney explores the Basement of the Disney Studios to show us the art of magic with the help of the magic Mirror from Snow White.
Walt explains the methods by which motion picture animation is made, using recreations of studio study sessions, clips from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Fantasia and some new footage of Mickey Mouse.
Goofy? An Adventure Story? That's the theme for today's episode.
Walt finds himself troubled by Donald Duck's constant outbursts; he then promises his feathered star a medal if an entire week passes without any complaints about his behavior.
The first half of this story is an excerpt from the upcoming theatrical release ""Johnny Tremain."" The second half is an airing of the 1953 cartoon ""Ben and Me,"" in which a church mouse named Amos befriends Benjamin Franklin.