Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear

With World War II raging away, natural resources needed to be protected at all costs. A forest fire could be devastating in terms of lost lumber. The government handed a very special bear the task of informing the public on the dangers of forest fires and the need for watchful vigilance. And for over 60 years, he has proven himself worthy of the task. He is Smokey Bear and his contributions to the war effort and beyond have made him a legend. Continue reading...

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

The concept of “bumbling inventor” was a tried and true formula for Disney, dating all the way back to The Absent-Minded Professor. In 1989, they would dust off the concept and cast Rick Moranis in the role of eccentric genius. The result was the highly-successful Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Continue reading...

Pete's Dragon

Pete’s Dragon

With the popularity of films like Mary Poppins and Song of the South, Disney proved that they could successfully mix live-action and animation. For their next such endeavor, they would once again meld the two mediums in 1977 for Pete’s Dragon, a comedic film about a boy and his invisible, fire-breathing friend. Continue reading...

Song of the South

Song of the South

The series of “Uncle Remus” stories penned by Joel Chandler Harris seemed a perfect vehicle for Walt Disney to finally employ a form of technology he had long experimented with – the merging of animated images with live actors. The concepts had been toyed with in films such as The Reluctant Dragon and The Three Caballeros, and Walt had first explored the possibilities in a cartoon called Alice’s Wonderland as far back as 1923. It was finally time to truly put the techniques to the test in a feature film, and the result was The Song of the South. Continue reading...

Ludwig Von Drake

Ludwig Von Drake

There seems to be an unwritten rule that anyone who is a genius must also be eccentric. The same holds true for the duck with all the answers, Ludwig Von Drake. While he may never have possessed the same star power as his beloved nephew, Donald, he is certainly enough of a character to warrant his inclusion as a Retroland icon. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Peoplemover

Peoplemover

Never mind those pesky jet packs or flying cars from The Jetsons, in the future man will travel in groups of four, roughly at the pace of a hurried snail. At least, that was the vision put forth by Disneyland’s glimpse into a futuristic tomorrow called the Peoplemover. And while this form of transportation never quite became the preferred method of travel for future generations, it managed to provide a service not to be discounted; a peaceful journey through the land of the future. Continue reading...

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

The following scenario plays out dozens, if not hundreds of times a day in front of Disney’s Haunted Mansion:Small Child: “I don’t want to go inside there.” Parent: “It isn’t scary. It’s fun!” Small child: “No, it isn’t.”And back and forth they go, the young child unable to reconcile their parents’ reassurances with the menacing-looking house that stands behind an eerie wrought iron fence and is purported to be haunted by 999 happy haunts (with room for one more). Continue reading...

Mary-Poppins

Mary Poppins

Out of the many films produced by Walt Disney over the years, one could argue that his finest achievement was Mary Poppins, the tale of a magical super-nanny based on a children’s book written in 1934 by P.L. Travers. With the enchanting duo of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and a masterful score, this 1964 classic has endured as one the most charming family films ever created. Continue reading...