"Mars and Beyond" is a 1957 Disney show about life on other planets

You can watch the full 52-minute episode of Mars and Beyond, from the Wonderful World of Disney television show, here. It was directed by Ward Kimbal and narrated by Paul Frees.

The episode is centered around what it would be like for a human to live on each planet in our solar system. It explains that most planets would be too hot or too cold for a person to survive on, but Mars might be a suitable home for us one day. Mars and Beyond features many beautiful illustrations of extraterrestrial creatures that one wouldn't expect to see in a typical educational film.

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It begins with an introduction of Walt Disney and his robot friend Garco, who provide a brief overview. It continues with an animated presentation about mankind seeking to understand the world in which he lives, first noticing patterns in the stars, and developing certain beliefs regarding the celestial bodies. Theories from scientists and philosophers are discussed, including Ptolemy's inaccurate, but formerly-accepted theories, as well as those of Copernicus. Life on other planets is considered, soon focusing on Mars. Ideas from science-fiction authors H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs are brought to life with more colorful animation. Pulp science fiction comics of the time are parodied in the same straightforward tone as everything else (this segment features Kimball's comic tone and a cameo appearance by Donald Duck).

After this, the program adopts a serious tone as it profiles each of the planets in the Solar System, from the perspective of what would happen to a man on them. The program claims that whereas most of the planets are either too cold or too hot for life as we know it, life on Mars could almost be normal, something that is of increasing importance for the future. Dr. E.C. Slipher then discusses the Red Planet and the possibility that life is already there. More animation speculates what the conditions on Mars might be like. This section is filled with striking, inventive and atypical Disney animation.