I’ve got to thank my friend and fellow blogger (Bay of Fundie) Ron Britton for setting me hip to this. It’s a home movie from 1956 that features the Barstow Family with their contest-winning trip to Disneyland. Now I’m a big Disneyland fan. Actually, more like a Disneyland nut. I listen to a half-dozen Disney parks podcasts, read over a dozen Disney blogs each day, and have a couple dozen books about the parks, Walt Disney, and the Imagineers. And, truth be told, if I had a time machine it’d be hard choice not to travel to Dealy Plaza in 1963 to learn the truth, but if I didn’t go there I’d surely go to Disneyland in the summer of 1959 when Tomorrowland had its big expansion with The Monorail, The Matterhorn, and The Submarine Voyage.
So, this video with circa-1956 footage of The Happiest Place on Earth is certainly of interest. What makes this 30 minute video all the more interesting is the exposure of 1950s culture and socialÂ moires. The Barstow Family is shown traveling to Southern California and the dad must have been a film nut because he used a lot of trick camera techniques and great storytelling skills to shoot a great movie. The narration was recorded in the mid-90s but still has that Fifties feel.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. The Librarian of Congress added this film to the National Film Registry this year. They add 25 films per year, so the fact that this home movie made the list alongside cinema greats like The Terminator, Deliverance, In Cold Blood, and others. And, in researching this post, I see that the Zapruder Film is also in the National Film Registry. So, this post comes full-circle…
In any case, you should definitely check out this video. It’s a lot of fun, and if you were around in the Fifties it might take you back. And if you weren’t it might take you there anyway.