Walt Disney: Technological Genius

Okay, so I’m watching an episode of the 1950’s Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney channel when I noticed something: These episodes are closed-captioned!

Boy, was that guy Walt brilliant or what? I mean, color TV hadn’t even been invented back in 1956, and Walt’s show was already compliant with the closed-captioning standards. Holy cow!

Truly a genius decades ahead of his time.

I’d give an answer to this, but my Sarcasm Detector is broken, an I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not.

Uh, yeah, right…

Anywho, this might be of interest.

Believe me, I’m in full sarcasm mode.

Well he was one.

Watch the sequence in Snow White where the Queen turns into the old witch. He creates a pan-around effect, where the camera appears to circle the queen while she’s in horrifying paroxysms. It’s astounding, considering it was completely two-dimensional.

The depth effects, so noticeable in Pinocchio, with the camera appearing to track into the scene, and the lovely moment in Fantasia, where the camera pans down the pillar, as Ali Gator slithers down it.

The Mickey Mouse show wasn’t his finest hour perhaps. But then I wasn’t watching it was I?

Cut the old boy some slack, mate.

Probably, like Alfred Hitchcock, he wasn’t someone I’d like to have in my family. But as an artist, he deserves considerable credit for technological innovation.


Actually, he doesn’t.

Ub Iwerks, however, does.

I don’t think anyone was suggesting that he wasn’t a genius. RAther, it’s just that the whole “closed-captioning of the Mickey Mouse Club back in the 50’s” thing was a joke.

And just FTR… I really liked that show. Still do.