9. Man In Space
If you’re a fan of history, Disney nostalgia, and space, this is the perfect binge for you. Walt Disney was always fascinated by space, as evident from Tomorrowland, his rides, and his technology. Disney released this short movie as a single episode of Walt Disney’s Disneyland series, which first aired on March 9, 1955. This short film became a huge success and influenced millions to learn about space, something that some may have forgotten about.
The episode was directed by Ward Kimball, who decided to use animation to showcase the history of space travel. The short also featured two of the best scientific minds at the time, Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun (dubbed the “Walt Disney of the space industry”). They combined the two to have children and adults alike understand complicated space terminology and concepts.
It was Walt’s decision to include humor on the show. “There are two sides to go on this—comedy interest and factual interest. Both of them are vital to keep the show from becoming dry. You need a good balance to keep it from becoming too dry and corny,” he said in a production meeting according to D23.
During the original airing, over 40 million people tuned in. It was even nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category. It was so popular that Disney released two spin-offs: Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. The two other shorts are featured at Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.