Monday, November 24, 2008
Disney's Mars and Beyond, Martian Plants and Animals
Here's something you want to see. It had been plaguing me for years: "What's that amazing animation I saw when I was younger? It was about life on Mars, and it had all these insane creatures and plants in it...I think it was on the...Disney Channel??" Thankfully, my friend Justin Weber brought droolworthy, expensive looking Disney DVDs to class one day a while back and this was on it. It's Disney's "Mars and Beyond," the Life on Mars segment specifically.
"Mars and Beyond," an episode of the 1957 TV show "Disneyland," begins with Walt Disney and his robot slave Garco introducing the show. Look at that robot, a real glimpse into the future.
Paul Frees talks us through this documentary-style look into various theories and suppositions about Mars. The great Ward Kimball, of Disney's famed powerhouse team of animators, the 9 Old Men, directs the picture and provides something particularly memorable with the section of the show that focuses on the possibilities of life existing on the Red Planet. These images have stuck with me since I was a kid.
You won't find any little green men in this selection of proposed Martian flora and fauna.
That's part of what makes these insanely inventive creature designs so great; they don't utilize the common notions of what aliens look like. Their approach to design is almost scientific. What could an animal that needs to survive on Mars eat? Dust of course!
Cute little flying balloon critters quickly become a meal for other cooler forms of Martian life.
If this were made much later than 1957, I don't think it would have been as great as it is. I'm actually surprised it wasn't made earlier.
I wouldn't be human if I didn't post the video for you all to see. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER 5 PARTS OF THE EPISODE. You won't regret it.