Monday, January 28, 2008

Disneyland On The Air

Disneyland and Walt Disney World have served as the setting to many children's books throughout the years. Sometimes the theme parks are the homes of the classic Disney characters, other times it seems that Mickey and the gang are busy running the parks. And once in a while, the Disney parks just play host to the vacationing antics of Mickey Mouse and his friends. In this 1955 Little Golden Book Disneyland On The Air Mickey and Donald arrive at Disneyland for a live broadcast of the Disneyland television program.

This book was perhaps one of the first to use Disneyland as a setting for it's story. A brief note on the copyright page before the story begins reads: Disneyland, in southern California, is truly the land of childhood's dreams come true. Millions have visited this magic land on TV, and soon will in reality. Here for the first time some of its delights may be sampled in book form." Actually not much of Disneyland is featured in the book.

There are a few exterior depictions of Main Street U.S.A. in the opening pages of the tale, but other than that only a few small illustrations on the front cover give any hint to the contents of the park. This picture to the right suggests Main Street U.S.A. as a real working thoroughfare with foot traffic traveling from inside the park to the Opera House. Also, I suspect Walt Disney would not have been happy with a modern automobile taking a spin down his turn-of-the-century Main Street.

One last image from this book...this somewhat disturbing illustration of Donald pulling two guns on Mickey. The question is: How did Donald get those guns past the exhaustive bag search at the main gate? This kind of thing would never happen today (without a cautionary introduction from Leonard Maltin!)

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