LoC honors Harryhausen, Lye and a Disneyland home movie

Each year the National Film Preservation Board of The Library of Congress names 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant films to the National Film Registry, a collection of movies selected to be preserved for all time. Chuck Jones’ What’s Opera Doc?, Bob Clampett’s Porky In Wackyland, Fleischer’s Snow White (1933), Pixar’s Toy Story and several Disney titles including Steamboat Willie and Three Little Pigs, have already made the grade. The 2008 selections were just announced this morning and animation was represented by Ray Harryhausen’s classic The 7th Voyage of Sindbad (1958), Len Lye’s experimental short Free Radicals (1979) and a 1956 home movie of Disneyland.

The home movie, Disneyland Dream, is one of the oddest choices the LoC has ever made. Robbins and Meg Barstow won a free trip to Disneyland as part of a “Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape” contest. The little film they made is charming, and really captures what life was like in the 1950s. And the images of 1956 Disneyland and Universal City are priceless. Check it out on Archive.org.


  • http://www.yaytime.com dave roman

    That is one well made home movie! The narration alone is amazing!

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    Disneyland Dream is the last thing I would have expected them to pick, but it’s a brilliant choice. Also enjoyed Len Lye’s piece, thanks for posting the links Jerry!

  • Katella Gate

    Thanks for posting this Jerry, especially the “Home Movie” for Disneyland 1956. If the Library of Congress’ selection of this film as “significant” is odd, it’s “odd” in a good way.

    I think I’d guarantee there is no other home movie of the period (or perhaps any other) that offers so much in the way of production value, fun, and natural good humor. All this above and beyond the treasure trove of antiquarian minutiae that Disneyland lovers love to love.

  • Saturnome

    Wow, I watched the whole Disneyland Dream home movie, it’s real fun. It seems that the father is appreciated amateur filmmaker; I’m downloading “Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge” right now.

  • http://cartoongeeks.com Michelle Klein-Hass

    Dang…not bad for a home movie!

    I wish I had seen Disneyland while it was still like that…somehow it seemed a bit more real and a little less corporate then. I think my first visit was in ’65 but I was too small to appreciate it. I shudder to think what it will be like when I visit next year…if it seemed like a plastic panopticon in 1988, it is probably a paranoid’s nightmare now. Oh well, I gotta see what it’s like now…it’s been 20 years and my curiosity is getting the better of me.

  • Nate

    This Disneyland film is a time capsule. I’d forgotten that the 1950′s was populated exclusively by caucasians.

  • RODAN

    I feel like my childhood has been vindicated by these choices. My heart goes out to the family and the “historians” who saved the home movie… I’m sure the film has the same sparkle that Walt intended.
    My adventurous side and my imagination jumps for joy at the Harryhausen film chosen. I RENTED this film when I was a kid and showed it to my neighborhood pals and was on cloud nine whenever the Herman score bellowed out across the backyard lawn and into the park beyond. I wanted the world to come and watch the masters work with me.

    As for experimental films…God knows I made a slew of those in my teens.. I wonder if they’re worth looking at one more time…HMMMMM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!