On this day in 1957, the Disneyland television series aired the one-hour episode "Mars and Beyond." Directed by Ward Kimball and narrated by Paul Frees, it discussed the possibility of life on other planets - especially Mars. It was the third installment of an influential Disney series about space exploration.
Walt Disney himself opened the show with a robot named Garco, who provided a brief overview of the episode. Even ideas from science-fiction authors H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs were brought to life with colorful animation. Pulp science fiction comics of the time were parodied including a segment featuring Kimball's comic tone and a cameo appearance by Donald Duck! Then the episode took a serious tone as it profiled each of the planets in the solar system, from the perspective of what would happen to a human on them. The program wrapped up with what a trip to Mars would entail for a space crew and its vessels.
"Mars and Beyond," and the first two episodes "Man in Space" and "Man in the Moon" were all released on the DVD Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond in 2004.
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