Brain Pickings

Walt Disney’s Man In Space: Retrofuturism from 1955


Before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Walt Disney took audiences there. Man In Space is a fascinating and rare 1955 Disney program exploring humanity’s obsession with the cosmos with equal parts scientific futurism and historical investigation. The entire segment is now available on YouTube in four parts, gathered here in a convenient playlist for your retrofuturist bemusement.

From prehistoric rockets to the science of the moon to space medicine, each segment explores a different aspect of man’s last frontier of conquest. The series culminates with a vision for launching man’s first foray into space, a purely hypothetical and, for many, unimaginable proposition at the time. The cherry on top: The segments is narrated by Dick Tufeld, the voice of the robot from cult vintage TV series (and subsequent 1998 film adaptation) Lost in Space.

Man In Space appears on the excellent Walt Disney Treasures – Tomorrow Land: Disney in Space and Beyond — a priceless two-disc collection of the “science factual” Disney programming that aired in the 1950s, covering multiple facets of the pre-modern fascination with outer space.

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