December 26, 1957 – The Featurette Mars and Beyond is Released to Theaters
“In this exciting age when everyone seems to be talking about the future possibilities of space travel, there’s much speculation on what we will discover when we visit other worlds.”
On December 26, 1957, the featurette Mars and Beyond was released to theaters. Originally featured as an episode of the Disneyland anthology series Disneyland on December 4, 1957, it was directed by famed Nine Old Men animator Ward Kimball. The featurette was researched and written by Kimball, William Bosche, John Dunn, Charles Downs, and Con Pederson, and features technical advisors such as Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, Dr. E. C. Silpher, and Dr. Wernher von Braun. Although man had not landed on the moon by 1957, this featurette took that dream beyond by exploring what would happen should man land on Mars and explore the greater universe. It featured a mix of live-action and animated sequences, with the show’s tone ranging from humorous to more serious. This theater feature was the first non-television incarnation of the episode; parts of the short were taken to create a short film called Cosmic Capers that would be released in the United Kingdom in 1979.