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» Sunday, October 23, 2005DVD Transfer Diary
A Disney evening:
"Dateline: Disneyland," which was the black-and-white special about the opening of the park in July 1955, hosted by Art Linkletter. When compared against the videotaped handycam things today, it looks very amateurish; because the commentator can't see what he's commenting about, you're often seeing one thing, like "Adventure Through Inner Space," while they are talking about the moon rocket. Hard to believe that Bob Cummings was such a big celebrity back then. Another host is Ronald Reagan, back from his General Electric Theatre days. The big guests everyone are waiting for are Davy Crockett and Georgie Russell, played, as they were on the Disneyland series, by Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen. "Davy" sings a song about his rifle, "Old Betsy"; can you see someone doing that today on children's programming? Linkletter talks to celebrities of the day all around the park: Irene Dunne, Don DeFore, Jeanne Crain. And you get to see the original Frontierland and Fantasyland, with the pack mule ride and the stagecoach and the Casey Jr circus train and the canal boats through the little village.
The Mickey Mouse Club Story: Narrated by Frankie Avalon. Nice garden-variety sort of reminisce-special. Sad to see Annette Funicello speaking so haltingly.
"Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair," one of the old World of Color sequences from 1964. Shows the dinosaur ride, "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" (the facial design was made from an actual life mask of Lincoln), my favorite "Progressland" (a.k.a. the Carousel of Progress) with the "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" song, and of course, "It's a Small World" (my dad's favorite).