Disneyland home movie from 1956 makes Library of Congress's National Film Registry

Molly sez, "Robbins Barstow's film Disneyland Dream was included in this year's National Film Registry (25 films selected by the Library of Congress annually). He is a tireless advocate for amateur film and a great supporter of Home Movie Day. Steve Martin wrote to Robbins Barstow after the news of Disneyland Dream being selected for the Film Registry. Martin appears in the home movie, he's 11 years old and worked selling guidebooks. Go home movies!"

We've blogged Robbins's amazing home movies here before. The man's a hero of the medium. Well-deserved congratulations indeed.

From the Library of Congress’s press release:

Disneyland Dream (1956)
The Barstow family films a memorable home movie of their trip to Disneyland. Robbins and Meg Barstow, along with their children Mary, David and Daniel were among 25 families who won a free trip to the newly opened Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., as part of a ‘Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape’ contest sponsored by 3M. Through vivid color and droll narration (”The landscape was very different from back home in Connecticut”), we see a fantastic historical snapshot of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Catalina Island, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Disneyland in mid-1956. Home movies have assumed a rapidly increasing importance in American cultural studies as they provide a priceless and authentic record of time and place.

The film, along with 15 other Barstow Travel Adventure titles, is available for viewing and downloading at the Internet Archive.

Robbins Barstow’s “Disneyland Dream” Named to National Film Registry, Steve Martin and Disneyland Dream (Thanks, Molly!)


  1. My Father bought a Bell & Howell movie camera and projector around 1960. He used it to document our annual circuitous pilgrimages, driving from Pennsylvania to visit relatives in Southern California. Over the years we took several different routes and always documented the activities along the way.
    Subsequently, I have a lively collection of footage from almost every tourist trap, national park, steak house, Route66 attraction, reptile farm, gem shop, motel or amusement park between Greensburg, PA, and Oxnard CA..
    It’s perhaps the most precious documentation I have of times and places that became such an important part of my personal history.
    I’ve had them restored and transferred to DVD.
    I encourage everyone with these priceless heirlooms to do the same.
    The process is reasonable inexpensive and causes little stress to the original media.
    You can not imagine the value of ‘Home Movies’ to future generations.

  2. How wonderful! I loved watching this movie when BB first pointed it out. It stands as a terrific slice of life in the 50’s. Family movies may seem mundane or unimportant, but they capture the intangible moments of one’s life in vivid detail, refreshing fuzzy memories of days past. Barstow’s modest but hilarious commentary and clean-cut editing make this particular movie quite the gem. Hooray!

  3. I’m not a big Disney fan, but I adore “home movies” like these. They provide such a sweet look back at the past, the way people want to remember it.

  4. For those that have 8mm home movies and are considering transferring these to DVD, this is not considered to be an archival medium. DVD discs can fail over time. Keep the 8mm films in a safe cool place for future generations. If they are Kodachrome films most likely the color dyes will not fade if stored properly. I have heard of cases of people throwing out the 8mm films after a DVD transfer thinking that the DVD is more permanent. Not true.

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