Saturday, April 26, 2014

Disney imagines the Jetsons

This is from a 1958 Disney show predicting what transportation would be like today. They got the GPS system and rearview TV cameras right. The air conditioned tubes through Death Valley, and driving under the ocean -- maybe next year. Their most extraordinary prediction is that at any one time there would only be four cars on the road. Anyway, it's great fun to watch.

17 comments:

Johnny Walker said...

A few posts ago, Ken asked us all to list movies we'd seen three or more times. I thought it was an interesting exercise; a lot of the films I put in my list, for example, weren't necessarily ones I'd automatically think of when someone asked me for my favourite movies -- but it was undoubtedly a fair reflection of my tastes. Like it or not, those were the movies that I have returned to, again and again.

And it got me wondering... What were the movies that we, the commenters, collectively like to return to, again and again? The movies we wouldn't necessarily automatically admit to being our favourites, but the ones which we, as a group, find ourselves watching, none-the-less.

So, god help me, I entered full Cliff Clavin mode, and tallied all ~920 votes from the comments. (Yes, I have too much time on my hands.) And as every US Postal representative knows, no list could be considered complete without a few "interesting" facts:

The top movie, The Wizard of Oz, had 11 votes. The joint second movies had eight, and so it went, down until the joint sixth movies, which had four votes each. (Anything with less than four votes wasn't included.)

In my next comment, I'll include a link to my gallery of potatoes that resemble world leaders. Until then, maybe someone else will be interested in the following. If you're looking for a new favourite movie, you might just find it in our collective most watched...

1st THE WIZARD OF OZ

2nd AIRPLANE!
BACK TO THE FUTURE
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
STAR WARS

3rd ANIMAL HOUSE
DUCK SOUP
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
THE STING

4th CITIZEN KANE
DIE HARD
THE GODFATHER
JAWS

5th THE APARTMENT
BLAZING SADDLES
CASABLANCA
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF
FIELD OF DREAMS
GHOSTBUSTERS
GONE WITH THE WIND
M*A*S*H
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
MY COUSIN VINNY
PSYCHO
PULP FICTION
ROCKY
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
SOME LIKE IT HOT
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
TOOTSIE
TRADING PLACES
VERTIGO

6th 12 ANGRY MEN
A CHRISTMAS STORY
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
AMERICAN GRAFFITI
ANNIE HALL
BONNIE AND CLYDE
CADDYSHACK
COOL HAND LUKE
DR. STRANGELOVE
FARGO
FORREST GUMP
THE FUGITIVE
GOLDFINGER
GROUNDHOG DAY
HELP!
MY FAVORITE YEAR
MY MAN GODFREY
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
THE PRODUCERS
REAR WINDOW
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Johnny Walker said...

That video was hilarious. A glimpse into the future... Sponsored by General Motors.

With such a bright future planned for them, filled with work, freeways and shopping malls, it's little wonder the Baby Boomers wanted to find something a trifle more fulfilling....!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

There was once an article in scientific Monthly about inventions where they tried to explain who some of them work and others didn't. Many factors, of course, but one of them was the qeustion of the new invention actually ads something new to the existing wayof doing things. So the rearview tunnelvision mirror mentioned here would not replace the old do it yourself mirror because that already does the job and probably more cheaply. More inventions that never got realised on my blog: http://allthingsger.blogspot.nl/2014/04/dont-take-me-wrong.html

Angry Gamer said...

This is really interesting thanks for posting the cartoon.

It's important to realize the historical context here.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways was created by the Fed Aid Highway Act of 1956. So this cartoon was two years after the US decided to build Autobahns.

The Cartoon anticipates the following things we take for granted:
National Interstates
Expressways
High Visibility Roads
Radar for Car driving (we call it automatic breaking)
GPS Navigation via Waypoint
Intermodal Freight Transport
Suburban Growth
Decentralized Urban Areas
Large Highway construction machinery able to create roads in single flow (standard now with Concrete road beds)
Supply Chain Automation

I does display a very bright future.

As one poster put it though... no wonder the Baby Boomers wanted something form fulfilling?

NOPE... this bright future was eclipsed by another invention in 1960... which changed EVERYTHING. And gave many people a new reason to use that highway system and the privacy the car allowed them.

The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill irst approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960.

One of the sad truths of forecasting... It's always the one that comes from left field that really disrupts your planning.

Still Angry Gamer

Matt said...

We shouldn't even need cars. By now I was expecting my Jet Pack :(.

Reality has just never lived up to my expectations that were created by The Jetsons. I have to get a haircut today. Where is the helmet that does it in 2 seconds?

But my biggest complaint is that how can a guy like George get a babe like Jane. This show totally set me up for disappointment later in life.

Scooter Schechtman said...

Enough Jetsons! I want to hear Ken's thoughts on Bob Uecker's new statue in the Brewer's nosebleed section.
(so the robo-check characters now have umlaut letters? what thee hell??)

Ralph C. said...

Mountain escalators, cargo rockets, electro-cars and underwater structures...but the future would still utilize punch cards.

I enjoy watching these things. I.G.Y., indeed.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

At 4:00, we get this little tidbit:

"Father to the office. Mother and son to the shopping center."

Only a writer from the 1950's could come up with such a misogynistic line like that one. That's one aspect of the future I'm glad that changed.

Rob Larkin said...

You may be amused by another cartoon from the 1950s that also predicts The Jetsons. It even stars the future voice of George Jetson himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCM_oWuOYo4

Interestingly, both cartoons have the same actor (Marvin Miller) doing the narration.

Lorimartian said...

Eduardo, I noticed that, too. With all the creative imagination displayed in the piece, the idea that women could play any other role than homemaker must have been so far outside the realm of possibility it couldn't even be envisioned.

A note about atomic power - In the fifties, my dad worked at Lockheed as part of a team attempting to develop an atomic powered aircraft. The project was ultimately scrapped because the concrete shielding could never be made light enough to allow the plane to get off the ground.

Johnny, interesting list. The thing about "The Wizard of Oz" is that if you're a baby boomer, it has been on television almost every year since 1956 so if you're 65, you could have conceivably seen it at least 50 times. I've probably seen it 15-20 times, and I'll watch it again when it's on. Oh, and I was disappointed that you forgot to include that link to your potato collection in your second comment. ^_^

Cru Jones said...

Great job Johnny Walker, you deserve a drink. Or at least a free ebook from Ken.

DwWashburn said...

A few things I found interesting about the cartoon -

I didn't hear the narrator mention a specific time that these predictions were to come true so they may still happen in the next thousand years or so.

When Mom goes to the shopping mall, apparently she has decided to dress like Beyonce.

And apparently in the future, you still can't escape hokey 50s background music.

Hamid said...

Not long till we arrive in the future, AKA 2015, visited by Marty and Doc in Back to the Future Part II. I want my hoverboard and pizza hydrator now.

CELEB NEWS ARENA said...

Mountain escalators, cargo rockets, electro-
cars and underwater structures...but the future
would still utilize punch cards.
I enjoy watching these things. I.G.Y., indeed.

Johnny Walker said...

Thanks guys! Heartening to know I'm not the only one who found the list interesting :)

I did email it to Ken first, thinking he might wish to post it on the blog proper, but he never got back to me. Either he's not quite as geeky as me, or he's just incredibly busy at the moment.

Interesting note about the WIZARD OF OZ, Lorimartian. As someone who isn't a Baby Boomer I've barely seen it once, let alone several times. Maybe I should give it another go, though.

Of interest to me was the presence of MY COUSIN VINNY (which I thought was generally regarded derisively -- I guess not), the lack of SPINAL TAP, and six films I've never even seen: HELP!, MY FAVORITE YEAR, MY MAN GODFREY, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

I guess I have some films to check out.

Tonio Kruger said...

So it' s the birth control pill that prevented us from having flying cars? Interesting theory. At least you had the good sense not to blame it on the acute absence of segregated drinking fountains.

Hank Gillette said...

One of the interesting things to me is how much energy some of the predicted innovations would take: radiant heated roadways, self-lit highways, machines to blow fog away, etc. Was this still in the era when it was believed that atomic power would make electricity so cheap that we wouldn’t bother to meter it?