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Tag Archives: Documentary

June 10

June 10, 1958 – The People and Places Featurette Wales is Released to Theaters

On June 10, 1958, the People & Places Featurette Wales was released to theaters. It was the eleventh featurette in the series to be released, and was filmed in CinemaScope. Directed by Geoffrey Foot, the featurette takes a look at the country of Wales, including its rich history and folklore, along with its factories and natural resources.

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March 21

March 21, 1956 – Men Against the Arctic Wins Academy Award

On March 21, 1956, the 28th Academy Awards were held at the RKO Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California. At this ceremony, Disney’s People and Places documentary featurette won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, winning against MGM’s The Battle of Gettysburg and The Face of Lincoln. This was the second People and Places featurette to win an Academy Award.

December 25

December 25, 1956 – The People & Places Featurette Samoa is Released to Theaters


On December 25, 1956, the People & Places Featurette Samoa was released to theaters. It was the seventh featurette in the series to be released, and was filmed in CinemaScope. The 32 minute documentary took audiences through the island of Samoa (known formally as the Independent State of Samoa), where they could see the day-to-day living of the inhabitants, including their fishing trade and ritual dances during the evening fia fia (translated as “happy time”).

December 24

December 24, 1954 – The People & Places Featurette Siam is Released to Theaters

On December 24, 1954, the People & Places Featurette Siam was released to theaters. This was the second People & Places featurette, following 1953’s The Alaskan Eskimo. It was directed by Ralph Wright, with photography by Herb and Trudy Knapp. The featurette takes viewers on a tour of Siam (now known as Thailand), featuring their traditional dances and day-to-day conditions, along with a trip to Bangkok.

August 26

August 26, 2009 – The Film OceanWorld 3D is Released in France

“Have you ever dreamed of discovering an incredible, surprising, and occasionally dangerous world?”

On August 26, 2009, the nature film OceanWorld 3D was released in France. This film was a joint production between Disneynature, 3D Entertainment, and German film distributor Wild Bunch, with Disney handling the distribution of the film throughout the United States and Mexico. OceanWorld 3D was an ambitious project, as it took seven years and over 200 hours of footage across various parts of the ocean, including California’s kelp forests, the Great Barrier Reef, and Argentina’s Peninsula Valdez. This is also the first nature documentary to be filmed and released in 3D. It was written by Jean-Jacques Mantello and Francois Mantello, and directed by Jean-Jeacques Mantello.

June 25

June 25, 2010 – The Documentary Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic Premieres

“We’re excited to honor Dave [Smith] and the Archives, and to give our members a close-up look at some rarely seen ‘jewels in the crown’ of Disney history.” – Head of D23, Steven Clark

On June 25, 2010, the documentary film Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic premiered at a special D23 event at the Disney Studios. The film, honoring the Walt Disney Archives’ 40th anniversary, took a look at how founder Dave Smith started the archives, and the impact it has on the Disney legacy. The premiere event also featured appearances by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, as well as film historian Leonard Maltin to honor Smith and his contributions.

December 20

December 20, 1956 – The People and Places Featurette Disneyland, U.S.A. is Released to Theaters

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“Here in Southern California, a new land has come into being. Its purpose is enlightenment; its product, happiness. This place is Disneyland, USA.”

On December 20, 1956, the People and Places featurette Disneyland, U.S.A. premiered in theaters. It was the sixth featurette in the series. It was directed by Hamilton S. Luske, and narrated by Winston Hibler.

The featurette begins a look at Southern California, taking an aerial view over the land. The narrator explains Disneyland in general, pointing out that Disneyland will always grow and expand, so that the “new and unexpected” can continue to be found there. The audience is first brought to the Disneyland Hotel via tram, viewing all the recreational activities the hotel has to offer. Taking the train, the audience is then brought to Disneyland Station, and enters the main entrance to enter the park. They are brought through Main Street, with the narrator explaining the ways to get around in the time of the gas lamp. The camera pans around to several stores along the streets, including the Penny Arcade and the Main Street Movie House. The audience pauses in The Plaza area, the hub of Disneyland. The narrator points out each of the separate parts of Disneyland before looking at a panorama of Frontierland. The narrator points out the various selling points of Frontierland, including Tom Sawyer’s Island and Rainbow Ridge. The audience the boards a train to continue traveling through the land. Next is a look at the Rivers of America, with special attention paid to the Mark Twain paddleboat, before catching the railroad again to view another part of Frontierland: the Indian Village, where 17 different tribes are represented.

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The audience then moves on to Adventureland, taking a boat on the Jungle Cruise and traveling through the many winding waterways. After the adventure, the audience quickly moves into Tomorrowland, where guests are given a glimpse at the way of the future. The tour begins at the Autopia attraction, with drivers of all ages heading to the track. There is also an area for model airplane clubs, and the Astro Jets for those that prefer to fly themselves. After this, the audience flies over Fantasyland, walking through the castle to an area of magic and childhood. The first attraction seen is Peter Pan’s Flight, where guests board a pirate ship to fly over London. The narrator then brings the audience to Storybook Land, where miniature scenes of classic Disney movies are shown on the riverbanks. This is followed by a look at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party attraction, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and the Skyway. The end of the featurette shows Walt Disney and Fess Parker leading a parade down Main Street before the falg is brought down at the end of the day.