Ward Kimball was one of Disney's "Nine Old Men," referring to a group of original Walt Disney animators who created some of the studio's most iconic animated characters. Kimball, for example, is the man who brought Jiminy Cricket to life, later going on to help spearhead the animation in some of Disney's feature films (like Mary Poppins), as well as playing a large role in a Disney television series which began as Disneyland in the 1950s and went on to take a number of titles throughout the years, with it currently known as The Magical World of Disney Junior. As part of that Disneyland television series (itself created as part of a deal to help fund the creation of Disneyland), Ward Kimball was responsible for a three-part documentary series under their Tomorrowland banner called Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. However it was Man in Space that really took off, leading to what might be one of the most fascinating mysteries in the history of Walt Disney.
By Erik Davis
By Erik Davis
Man in Space was a 1955 documentary that mixed live-action footage with animation and was an attempt to show what it might look like when man finally ventured into space. The doc did boffo numbers at the time (42 million people watched it), so much so that President Eisenhower personally sought out a copy of it from Disney, leading many to later claim that it was Man in Space that helped inspire the leaders of our country to finally take space travel seriously. But Man in Space may have also played a large role in the creation of another secret documentary, pieced together by Walt Disney and Ward Kimball, that was supposed to assist in revealing the existence of UFOs to the American public and the world at large. . . .
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