Modern Mechanix blog has just reprinted a 50-page National Geographic article called "The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney" from August, 1963. They've got high-rez scans and the full, transcribed text — incredible.
"This is the latest thing we've done with Audio- Animatronics," Walt said. "We are using the new types of valves and controls developed for rockets. That way we can get extremely subtle motions."
"About that word," I said, "Audio-Animatronics."
"It's just animation with sound, run by electronics," he smiled. "Audio-Animatronics. It's an extension of animated drawings.
"We take an inanimate object and make it move. Everything is programmed on tape: the birds' movements, lighting effects, and sounds. We turn on the tape and the birds do their stuff. At the end, the tape automatically rewinds itself and starts all over again. With tape we could present a program of an hour and six minutes without repeating anything."
"Is anyone else doing this kind of thing?"
"I don't know anyone crazy enough," Walt laughed.