On this episode of ID The Future, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture and author of Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s talks about how science is portrayed in Walt Disney’s films and theme parks. Disney’s worldview was an interesting blend of 19th century morals with a 21st century vision for science and technology. A futurist, Disney was given to techno-utopianism and his works tended to reflect this, but have also bore warning messages about the dangers posed by both science and technology. John West explores these interests both in his exhibits and his film works.
On this episode of ID The Future, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture and author of Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s talks about Walt Disney’s life-long fascination with evolution. By exploring the subtle messages promoted by Disney’s theme parks and animated features West shows that evolution rather than being a one-off was an recurring fascination of Disney’s. From the Magic Skyway created for the 1964 World’s Fair to the 1948 animated film Fantasia we see Disney’s recurrent contemplation of evolution. Fantasia explored worldviews from rationalism to materialism to animism. On first blush Fantasia’s “Rite of Spring” seems to promote Darwinian Materialism but is really an exposé showing nature in all its cruelty. On the Magic Skyway animatronics were used to tell stories of ages past from the age of the dinosaurs to the arrival of man. Disney skirted the origins of humans but the narration suggested that man was something different.