Disneyland Dreams
April 20, 2008 5:11 AM   Subscribe

Robbins Barstow's 1956 home movie. Take a trip back to 1956 with Robbins Barstow, his wife, and three kids. After winning a 3M (Scotch Tape) contest, the family won a trip to Disneyland! For those of you who, like me, lived through the 50's, this will transport you back... for the rest of you, find out what life was like for your Parents and Grandparents. via

If you like Barstow's style, check out the rest of his movies
posted by HuronBob (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
They had me at Letraset brand presstype.

I'm guessing the next, machine-set, titles were added when by the video transfer service.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:19 AM on April 20, 2008

And here's how Barstow replied today to BoingBoing (who they posted this link a while ago)

I am the now-88-year-old filmmaker from Wethersfield, Connecticut, who filmed, directed, edited, and narrated the amateur home movie entitled "Disneyland Dream" which you Boing-Boinged on April 11, 2008. I was delighted to be described as the "skinny, dorky, goofy dad" who documented our contest-winning family vacation to Disneyland in 1956, because our aim was to make the film "pure gold" fun for everyone viewing it. So far (April 19) it has garnered 15,777 downloads from the archive.org web site, thanks to your posting of the link! This is incredibly phenomenal to all of our still life-loving family, and I want to thank you for your fabulous review and letting the world know about it.

I am a retired educator, but all my life I have been an ardent amateur filmmaker, starting at the age of 12, in 1932, making family chronicles, travelogs, and other documentaries. I am submitting on your posted form another archive.org link which I think you will also enjoy -- a teen-age, fictional, Tarzan story which I made in 1936 with my two younger brothers and some neighborhood girls -- "Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge."

Actually, if you go to archive.org on the internet, and search for "Barstow Travel Adventure," you will find a listing of 8 of my personal travel documentaries, including Disneyland and Tarzan, which can be played anytime by anyone.
posted by DreamerFi at 5:28 AM on April 20, 2008

Amazingly good!
Thank you!
posted by Dizzy at 5:53 AM on April 20, 2008

I am the now-88-year-old filmmaker from Wethersfield, Connecticut...

Damn you for posting that. It's too early to get all misty.

Awesome indeed.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:32 AM on April 20, 2008

I loved the way he did the lunch that they had and also the way he did "The End"

Thats awesome. That guy reminds me of my dad/ grandfather.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:48 AM on April 20, 2008

Amazing thinking about how we get nostalgic over this "lost" time, when in the film there's a wonderful scene when the family is riding down "Main St." at Disneyland, which in 1956 was designed around their shared culture's nostalgic, idealized amalgam of the 1920s. The narrator even comments on it, saying something like, "What ever happened to those great times?"

Some of the little details are still wonderful. I wonder how many orange groves were even left in CA by the mid-50s? And I love the coonskin caps. Those Davy Crocket jackets were way out of my parent's parent's price-range. I think I still have my dad's Tom Corbitt and the Space Cadets action figures... somewhere.

Sadly, most of the Famous Monster Magazines were lost in a flood. MYLAR YOUR MEMORIES, PEOPLE. I fully anticipate being the coolest grandfather on Earth when my grandkids learn what's in my comic book collection.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:10 AM on April 20, 2008

The propagandists are lying to us...the "good old days" did exist.
posted by chihiro at 8:10 AM on April 20, 2008

I absolutely loves the footage showing them "waiting to hear back" about the contest entries, especially the family following Dad, baby-duck style, as he mows the lawn. Awwwwwww...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:10 AM on April 20, 2008

I wonder how many orange groves were even left in CA by the mid-50s? And I love the coonskin caps.

There were lots of citrus groves in SoCal at the time. They became scarce in LA and Orange counties during the early 60s but were a major fixture in San Bernardino and Riverside counties thru the 70s and early 80s. My heart breaks every time I drive through Redlands and watch the last large grove (several hundred acres) die a slow death from lack of water as they get ready to develop.

We all had coonskin caps back then but very few were storebought. Our moms made them from either real racoons or old fur coats.
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:42 AM on April 20, 2008

Wow, Tube, that camera would have made my dad feel like Hitchcock. My dad was an 8mm man, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the Super 8 era.

Showing those silent home movies added a participatory quality to the event -- someone had to narrate to explain what was going on, and usually someone would be happy to contradict the narrator. Dad and mom, respectively. After a few years, no one really knew what was the actual story was anymore.

This is great stuff. Mr. Barstow, you are a fine filmmaker.
posted by sageleaf at 12:24 PM on April 20, 2008

Children's faces looking up, holding wonder like a cup.
posted by telstar at 12:52 PM on April 20, 2008

This is great.

Modern society is so much more depersonalized, anonymous. Can you imagine a pilot or a hotel manager nowadays giving a flying fuck about some suburban contest winners? Does anyone still have neighbors who would gather around to see you off to Disneyland?
posted by nasreddin at 4:25 PM on April 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awesome. A time of yesteryear and innocence that will never be recaptured.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:15 PM on April 20, 2008

I love this. Thanks for posting.
posted by jquinby at 6:20 PM on April 20, 2008

Ha, I love the part starting around 3:15, capturing all their reactions to winning ... what a fun-loving family they seem like.

This is great; thanks.
posted by lisa g at 10:16 PM on April 20, 2008

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