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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Monochrome

When Walt Disney sold the idea of a television show to ABC, he was overjoyed that he would get the money he needed for his Magic Kingdom. There was one drawback; as the youngest of the networks, ABC didn't have the resources to begin broadcasting in color. It also didn't plan to. The magical worlds of Disney would appear in black and white.

Walt Disney, however, saw everything in color. Despite the fact that his viewers wouldn't see it on their television screens, he filmed his shows in full color and with film stock.

This infuriated his brother Roy, who saw it as a waste of money. ABC wouldn't pay for the full cost of the color production, so the studio was losing money on every episode. Walt always looked to the future and he realized that doing the shows his way would make them more valuable. Television wouldn't be black and white forever and future audiences would want to see things in color. His foresight paid off nearly immediately, however. With the huge success of Davy Crockett, kids were clamoring for more Davy. Disney gave it to them on the big screen, editing the shows together and putting them on the big screen. It was hugely profitable and impossible without Walt's foresight.