Monday, May 4, 2009

Walt Disney's Magazine - 1956, 1957 & 1959

Welcome to Magazine Monday. It’s such a beautify spring day here in southern California and I’m probably at the “park” as you read this so let’s make today’s post a 3-for-1! Three great vintage magazines for the price of one, which is free anyway so how can you beat this deal?

For today’s vintage Disneyland related magazines we are going directly to the source himself, Walt Disney. Originally called “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine” after a couple of years it was changed to “Walt Disney’s Magazine”. At some point it became “Disney Magazine”. Today we’ll look at three early issues.

First up “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine” from the Summer of 1956. Fess Parker and a young Annette Funicello grace the cover. Most of the covers to these old MMC magazines are beat up pretty bad, I can just envision how these were read over and over. Fortunately, the inside pages are all in pretty good shape.

Bobby Burgess narrates his adventures in the New Frontiers at Disneyland. I guess none of the new stuff was ready for photographs in time for this summer 1956 issue. But the drawings are almost better than the real thing!

Here’s a couple close-ups, these are sure are fun to look at.

Again no photos of the new 1956 attractions, but lots of great drawings! The AstroJets look so cool, even in black and white.

A work day at the studio for Annette. Looks like a sweet job for a kid, at her age I was cleaning ash trays and sharpening yellow grease pencils at the Panorama Bowl.

Jiminy Cricket says: “I’m no fool with fire”. Notice the lower right corner talks about the 8-minute animated Technicolor film you can rent, I’ve got the entire set, they are among my favorite 16mm films, those Technicolor gems still look stunning 54 years later.


Next up from February 1957 its still “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Magazine”, this time with the Hardy Boys on the cover. That’s Tim Considine and very young Tommy Kirk who appear to be hiding in the trunk of a ’57 T-Bird, good luck fitting in there. Oh wait, that's a Fairlane, they'll fit!

Consisting of only two pages, this Disneyland related article is about the new 1957 Sleeping Beauty Castle walt thru. Having seen the new (2008) version on each recent trip to the park, I can personally tell you they did an amazing job at capturing what’s in these pages. The feeling was captured so perfectly it’s hard to describe. Do not miss this attraction on your next visit.

These magazines have very few advertisements. If there are any at all, they are on the inside and/or back covers. This is a super 1950’s ad for roller skates. These things are deadly, I remember trying old ones when I was a kid and they literally fell apart as you used them.


Last up (fear not, there are more of these, this is just it for today…) it’s “Walt Disney’s Magazine” from February 1959. Walt writes an article in this issue “How I met the King of the Leprechauns”.

For the Disneyland article is Mickey Mouse on Tom Sawyer’s Island. Can you guess where Black Bart hid his loot?

A fun map to help you solve the mystery.

Ok, if you give up (I did) here’s the answer. I was going to post it upside-down, but I realized it might be hard to turn your monitor upside-down…

Here’s Walt’s article. I wonder if he really wrote it himself?

Now that Sleeping Beauty was in theaters, here’s a great article with some of the amazing artwork that’s in this movie.

You can tell the western craze had hit the United States in full force by 1959, just “Look what we’ve rounded up for you!


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow....these are great! And we get three! I have only one issue of this magazine, but it has the exact same crease down the middle. I wonder if these were originally folded in half and mailed in letter-size envelopes?

Matt said...

Yeah, that centerline crease is really common, in the comic book world it is known as a 'subscription crease'

Major Pepperidge said...

These magazines are SO fantastic... I only have a few issues, and hadn't looked at them for a long time. Such a quality publication for kids, and yes, the mid-century illustrations are always amazing!

Mark said...

LOVE it all! Thanks!

viagra online said...

I wonder if these were originally folded in half and mailed in letter-size envelopes?

Cowboy King said...

As a first year subscriber to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club Magazine, I can confirm these were mailed in a folded condition inside a brown mailing envelope, with the outside edges at both top and bottom exposed! It's surprising that they all made it through the mail safely, but it seems most of them did. These were also sold in some department and drug stores; and those, of course, won't have the vertical crease. Good luck in finding THOSE editions!