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SATURDAY: Jim Korkis at Disney Family Museum

If you are in San Francisco this weekend, I’d recommend a visit to the Disney Family Museum to see my pal, Disney historian extraordinaire Jim Korkis, speak about Walt Disney’s fascination with outer space. Jim examines Walt’s contributions to the U.S. space program, including his collaboration with Dr. Werhner Von Braun on a design for a working space shuttle, 25 years before one was actually built. Jim will be talking about the Tomorrowland Space Trilogy of shows from the Fifties, merchandise that was spawned from those shows, the film Moon Pilot, Disney space shows that were never made – and much more. Korkis will be speaking at 3 pm on Saturday July 23 at the Disney Family Museum.

  • Paul N

    Had my tickets for a month or so – can’t wait. Jim’s not only a terrific historian, but a great guy and a ton of fun to talk to. Bring your copy of “The Vault of Walt” and have him sign it while you’re at it!

  • The museum is great. Jim will be great. This event is the one reason I’m sorry I’ll be at Comic-Con this weekend.


  • Jane

    I’m going to the museum this weekend, but I can’t remember what day we are going. I really hope it’s Saturday.
    Thanks for the heads up.

  • Largo

    It’s a pity that they scheduled this event opposite Comic Con.

    • Funkybat

      Seriously, I would have re-upped my yearly Disney Museum membership just to see this. I hope he comes back there some time!

  • Interesting

    Cool, definitely be interested in this. NAZA has a fascinating history and be curious to see what Walt contributed.

  • dbenson

    “Moon Pilot” definitely creaks — more so than other Disney live action of the time — but the Man in Space television episodes hold up remarkably well as entertainment. The TV show later had an episode titled “Inside Outer Space,” in which Ludwig Von Drake introduced and narrated non-dated animated portions from all three shows. Guessing it was designed to replace the original shows on the educational market . . .

    Lord, I miss Vault Disney.

  • David Breneman

    I’ve got a beat up Technicolor print of “Mars and Beyond” (source of the picture above). The end of the US manned space program fills me with grief. We were supposed to be on Mars by 1985. Why did we give up on the future? We’re turning into navel-gazers. The Yongle Emperor is burning Zheng He’s fleet at the docks. We’re in danger of entering a dark age like China did — and they’re still playing catch-up with civilization, 600 years later.

    • Funkybat

      I think that the “space race” happened mainly because of our Cold War paranoia that the USSR, and nations under their influence, would somehow surpass us as the dominant force in global politics. When it became clear that the Soviets were more akin to a fleet of rusty obsolete tankers than a fleet of supersonic fighter jets, we throttled way back on the whole “final frontier” thing. Satellites and probes serve the scientific exploration aspect of space exploration, and the whole “glory of human achievement” part became a luxury we couldn’t afford in the eyes of U.S. political and military officials.

      It will be interesting to see if we, someone else, or no one continues the exploration of space beyond Earth orbit in this century. I must admit the trajectory of NASA since the 70s has been depressing for us retro-futurists.

  • Jim’s also got a nice little new short feature about Steam Trains here on the official Walt Disney World website (no log-in needed):