The moon is the subject here. Man’s fascination with the moon (via animation) is presented, as is the moon’s usage in popular culture (from Shakespeare to nursery rhymes to popular songs). Also, superstitions and suppositions associated with the moon is presented. Then scientific research on the moon is shown, followed by plans for (and then a simulation of) an actual trip around the moon.
Man and the Moon is an episode of Disneyland which originally aired on December 28, 1955. It was directed by Disney animator Ward Kimball, and is about the Moon. It begins with a humorous look with Man’s fascination with the Moon through animation. This segment features the Moon’s usage in everything from William Shakespeare and children’s nursery rhymes to lunar superstitions and scientific research. Then Kimball comes on with some information on the moon, supplemented by graphics. Kimball then introduces Dr. Wernher Von Braun, who discusses plans for a trip around the moon. Dr. Wernher Von Braun was employed as a technical consultant on this film by Walt Disney, and on a number of other Disney films. He had a great knowledge of rockets, as he had helped to develop the V2 Rocket while working for Nazi Germany.
Finally, a live action simulation from inside and outside the manned Lunar Recon Ship RM-1 dramatizes what such an expedition might be like, including an almost-disastrous hit by a very small meteor. This episode later reaired in 1959 under a new title: Tomorrow the Moon.
Both Haber and Wernher von Braun were involved with Operation Paperclip and intimately a part of the Nuremberg medical tribunal, which saw former Nazis war criminals rescued to the United States, ultimately resulting in a considerable contribution to the development of NASA.
Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency, and in the context of the burgeoning Soviet–American Cold War.
Unknown to many Disney watchers, Kimball was also student of UFOs and Outer Space.
Kimball worked with technical advisor Werhner Von Braun to write and direct three key outer space documentaries for the “Disneyland” television series. The three documentaries were, “Man in Space,” “Man and the Moon,” and “Mars and Beyond.” Kimball referred to them as, “the creative highpoint of my career. According to Disney spokesman Howard E. Green, the three outer space documentaries are “often credited with popularizing the concept of the government’s space program during the 1950s.,
The first of these, the 1955 “Man in Space, was so popular (viewed by over 42 million people) that according to Kimball, President Eisenhower phoned Walt Disney from the White House looking for a copy of the production. When Disney asked Eisenhower why he wanted it Eisenhower replied, “Well, I’m going to show it to all those stove-shirt generals who don’t believe we’re going to be up there!”
It was Kimball, who at the July 1979 MUFON UFO symposium in California, told of his interest in the subject of UFOs. Then to a stunned audience he related the story of how the American government had approached Walt Disney himself prior to Sputnik to make a UFO documentary to help acclimatize the American population to the reality of extraterrestrials.