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Disney TV

J. P. Telotte

Publication Year: 2004

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company's network television series Disneyland/The Wonderful World of Color. The series, part of Walt Disney's quest to re-create American entertainment, premiered October 27, 1954 on ABC and was the longest-lived program in television history. Over the years, Walt Disney's visions have evolved into family-oriented cinema, television, theme parks. From the lovable Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to magical places like Frontierland, Disneyland/The Wonderful World of Color generated some of the most popular fads of the era. In Disney TV, J. P. Telotte examines the history of the Disney television series while placing it in context—the film industry's reaction to television in the post-World War II era, the Disney Studios’ place in the American entertainment industry, and Walt Disney’s dream to create the modern theme park. Telotte’s guiding principle in this examination is to illustrate how Disney changed the relationship between cinema and television and, perhaps more importantly, how it affected American culture. The conciseness of Telotte's book is a major advantage over other leading Disney scholarship. Detailed, without including minutia, Telotte provides the reader with the key issues that surrounded the development of the Disney phenomenon. This book will attract a wide array of readers--scholars of television, media, and film studies, popular culture students, and all those touched by the magic of Disney.

Published by: Wayne State University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xxv

Two of the key components of what Landon Jones terms “the action” of 1950s culture were television and marketing, a nexus that surrounded baby boomers with products created especially for them, spurred new fads aimed expressly at them, and differentiated them from previous generations of Americans by redefining them...

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1. Disneyland/The Wonderful World of Color: A Chronicle

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pp. 1-26

To describe the development of contemporary media, as Paul Virilio notes, is a complex undertaking that implicates various other issues and histories, especially questions about the nature of virtual imagery and the development of what he terms a “vision machine,” that...

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2. Stories of a Mythic Past

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pp. 27-44

Disneyland’s only completely new programming during its first season sprang from a project that had earlier been discussed and put aside, a three-part narrative on the life of frontiersman Davy Crockett. Originally conceived as part of a series on legendary American...

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3. Stories of Fact and (Science) Fiction

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pp. 45-60

In his biography of Wernher von Braun, the force behind America’s moon program, Dennis Piszkiewicz describes his subject’s contributions to Disneyland the show, Disneyland the park, and the space program as interconnected. He describes von Braun not simply as a great...

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4. Promoting the Films/Promoting the Parks: Hybrid Stories

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pp. 61-80

In analyzing the development of what he terms “the logistics of perception,” Virilio notes how our various technologies of seeing, especially film, have changed our sense of connection— to places, people, and even the self. We now live in a realm, he suggests, of constant presence,...

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Conclusion: The Disneyland/Wonderful World of Color Legacy

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pp. 81-92

Mark Dery begins his study of entertainment in American culture by focusing on a landmark attraction, Coney Island, the early twentieth-century amusement park that he terms “the electric apparition of a coming age” (10). This description seems equally...


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pp. 93-98


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pp. 99-102


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pp. 103-108

E-ISBN-13: 9780814337639
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814330845

Page Count: 136
Illustrations: 10
Publication Year: 2004