Disney’s Magic Highway

This 1958 film, produced for an episode of the Disneyland TV show, comes on the heels of the Federal Highway Act of 1956 and parallels the development of Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland Park (1955) at Disneyland and prefigures the Contemporary Tower at Disney World (1971). GPS and reverse-view screens (a cool feature in my Mom’s Lexus) are both predicted, but we’ll need to wait for most of the technologies. Please note the complete disregard for the environment and existing cities (this was produced three years before Silent Spring and the Death and Life of Great American Cities) and the Mad Men-like sexism.

The film was brought to my attention by John Fregonese, an urban planner who spoke at the recent The Reinvented City conference at Harvard/The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


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