The Mouse In A New Medium: Walt Disney Finds TV

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This month marks the 65th anniversary of the premiere of Walt Disney’s long-running anthology TV series, first billed as Walt Disney’s Disneyland when it debuted courtesy of ABC on October 27, 1954.

In honor of this important date, I’m sharing with you an essay that I wrote in spring 2018 for one of my classes at USC — a critical studies course on the Disney brand, with an emphasis on his creative endeavors. For my final essay, I chose to write about Walt Disney’s earliest forays into television — even prior to the 1954 premiere of Disneyland — via two Christmas specials in 1950 (NBC) and 1951 (CBS), the first of which, One Hour In Wonderland, has been released as a special feature on recent Alice In Wonderland DVD/Blu-ray releases.

I’m proud of this research effort — I liked the chosen subject matter and was rewarded with an A+ grade — and I’ve long believed that it’s the kind of material that fits the premise of this blog, so I’m happy now to finally have an excuse to share it here. (Click the image.) Enjoy!

And, although I can’t share the full show, here’s a clip from Disney’s 1951 special, The Walt Disney Christmas Show, which has yet to make its way on home video (but certainly should)!


NOTE: Please do not ask me for a copy of the 1951 special. I cannot share it, or clips from it, beyond what I have featured above in support of my essay. Thank you! 



Come back next week for another Wildcard! And stay tuned Monday for a musical theatre rarity!