Disney archivist tells us whats really in that mysterious 1952 box

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Feb 5, 2013, 3:09 PM EST (Updated)

The folks at Disney are playing things close to the vest with the mysterious new sci-fi flick Tomorrowland. But lucky for us, a Disney archivist has started digging into the “1952” box that inspired it all.

The D23 Disney fan club blog had a studio archivist dig through the box and chronicle its contents, which include everything from a photo of Walt Disney with U.S. Army Major Woodlief to some random 8mm film.

Producer Damon Lindelof (Prometheus) and director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) are putting the flick together, which was reportedly inspired by the “1952” box dug out of the Disney archives. The exact nature of the project is unknown, though the best guess is that it was a sci-fi pitch for a film or theme park ride. Originally dubbed 1952 during the development phase, the film was given the official retro-cool title Tomorrowland a few weeks ago.

The archivist report offers a few more insights into the mysterious project, and it’ll be interesting to see how all these random items fit together. Some highlights are listed below. Click here to read the full 12-part report:

From the age, type, and conditions of the items I can see, I feel that the materials in the box were gathered together for a project from the past. Perhaps as research for a science-fiction-themed film, television, or park attraction, or even a futurism project like Walt’s vision of EPCOT...

Someone put tape over the original production label and hand wrote “1952″ in pen—the brevity of the title and the fact that it’s handwritten sounds to me like it’s probably a working title. Both the studio and WED often used working titles before they came up with a final title of the project. “The Concert Feature” was what they called Fantasia before they decided upon a final name for example...

The magazine that appears along with this curious collection of documents and objects provides more clues. It is a copy of the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories from August 1928. I got a closer look at the cover by looking it up online. It shows a man in flight wearing some sort of jet pack, powered by a hand-controlled device of some sort. After doing a little more research, I discovered that the cover story of that particular issue is the serialized novelThe Skylark of Space, written by Elmer Edward “Doc” Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby. Walt was always interested in futurism and flight especially in the 1950s and early ’60s; in fact, for Disneyland’s Tencennial Celebration in 1965, he actually had a man fly down Main Street, U.S.A. with a jet pack. The man also did flight demonstrations in Tomorrowland in the Flight Circle...

There is a 45 rpm record that appears to be a master disc. It is probably from the ’40s or early ’50s (these type of records pre-date magnetic tape recording). It’s definitely not the kind of record that is pressed and sold to the public. Unfortunately, its handwritten label is too blurry to decipher.

So what do you think this flick is actually about?

(Via D23)