Saturday, June 28, 2008

Walt(zing) Into the Future

We're in the middle of 2008... Where is my hover-car?!

I love the 50's & 60's. I especially love what the perception then was of the "Space-Age". It's hard to describe how watching films and movies made about the future back then makes me feel inside; it's ineffable, really.

At the Kaiser Haus we love Disney things. When we lived in California the family had annual passes to Disneyland and visited quite often. I grew up at Disneyland as a matter of fact! Over the course of my 38 years I have probably been no less than a zillion times. As a youngster I had the greatest affinity for "Tomorrowland", and I still long to go back there. Not "Tomorrowland" as it exists at the park today, but the "Tomorrowland" that was there when I was a wee Mouseketeer - Thee Tomorrowland. I can still vividly recall walking into the Central Command at the Mission To Mars attraction. Seeing the animatronic engineers and rocket scientists making preparations for our planned departure to the Red Planet. I dug the equipment they were using to make the necessary calibrations and whatnot to ensure a safe flight. I loved they way they were dressed, in that classic 50's/60's Northrop-Grumman Engineer style white short-sleeve shirt, thin black tie, and horn-rimmed & brow-line glasses. In fact, the picture in the header of this site is of some men designing Tomorrowland, and they happen to look just like the Rocket Scientist! The launch was always successful with those guys at the helm, and I appreciated their education, correct equations, and hard thankless work to guarantee my safety. Many of my friends didn't share my enthusiasm for that ride, but had to go along with me if we were to stay together as a group.

I was a fan of the People Mover, and looked forward to said future when I could get around by such efficient and enjoyable means. It took folks on a (birds-eye view) tour of the beloved land of the future, and right into the heart of my all-time favorite ride... "Adventure Through Inner Space"! Of all the rides and attractions at Disneyland that I grew up with none captured my imagination like this ride through that mighty microscope; shrinking and shrinking as you become part of the molecular world, seeing things that the most powerful instruments have yet to see: atoms. Looking up at one point you see the eye of a scientist looking at you through the microscope lens. Just amazing!

A couple years ago a friend that I spent many a day with at Disneyland sent me a link to a video on YouTube. It was a CG animated re-creation of the ride, complete with the soundtrack -  and it took me back. Accurate to the Nth degree. I went back through old, saved emails and found the link but it was no longer valid. I did find a clip of that video, a trailer if you will. It appears that whoever made that video is selling it; I haven't looked further into it yet, but here is the trailer:

Perhaps that ride had such an effect on me because of my love of that classic movie of  1966, The Fantastic Voyage. Maybe it's the other way around; I can't remember. But there is something fascinating to me about "shrinking" and the "future" combined. Though I am chagrined that the future I'm living in has only been able to shrink our drive for a better tomorrow...

WWWD - What Would Walt Do?

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