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Donald in Mathmagic Land

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Donald in Mathmagic Land is a 27-minute Donald Duck featurette released on June 26, 1959. It was directed by Hamilton Luske. Contributors included Disney artists John Hench and Art Riley, voice talent Paul Frees, and scientific expert Heinz Haber, who had worked on the Disney space shows. It was released on a bill with Darby O'Gill and the Little People. In 1959, it was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Documentary - Short Subjects). In 1961, two years after its release, it had the honor of being introduced by Ludwig Von Drake and shown on the first episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, where it was the first Disney short subject to be broadcast on color television. The film was made available to schools and became one of the most popular educational films ever made by Mr. Disney. As Walt Disney explained, "The cartoon is a good medium to stimulate interest. We have recently explained mathematics in a film and in that way excited public interest in this very important subject."

Synopsis

Entrance

Donald Duck, holding a hunting rifle, passes through a doorway to find that he has entered Mathmagic Land. This fantasy land contains trees with square roots, a stream flowing with numbers, and a walking pencil that plays tic-tac-toe. Interestingly, a geometric bird recites (almost perfectly) the first 15 digits of pi. Donald soon hears the voice of the "True Spirit of Adventure" who will guide Donald on his journey through "the wonderland of mathematics".

Pythagoras and music

Donald is initially not interested in Mathmagic Land, believing that math is for "eggheads". When "Mr. Spirit" suggests a connection between math and music, though, Donald is intrigued. First, Donald discovers the relationships between octaves and string length. Next, Donald finds himself in ancient Greece, where Pythagoras and his contemporaries are discovering these same relationships. Pythagoras (on the harp), a flute player, and a double bass player hold a "jam session" which Donald joins after a few moments using a vase as a bongo drum. Pythagoras' music is, as the Spirit explains, the basis of today's music, and that music would not exist without "eggheads".

The pentagram, the golden section, and the golden rectangle

After shaking hands with Pythagoras, Donald finds on his hand a pentagram, the symbol of the secret Pythagorean society. The Spirit then shows Donald how the mysterious golden section appears in the pentagram. Next, the pentagram is shown to contain the pattern for constructing golden rectangles many times over. According to the Spirit, the golden rectangle has influenced both ancient and modern cultures in many ways.

Architecture and art

Donald learns how the golden rectangle appears in many ancient buildings, such as the Parthenon and the Notre Dame cathedral. Paintings such as the Mona Lisa and various sculptures contain several golden rectangles. The use of the golden rectangle is found in modern architecture, such as the United Nations building in New York City.

The human body and nature

The Spirit shows Donald how the golden rectangle and pentagram are related to the human body and nature, respectively. The human body contains the "ideal proportions" of the golden section; Donald, overintrepreting the Spirit's advice, tries to make his own body fit such a proportion, but his efforts are to no avail; he only manages to fit himself into a pentagon. The pentagram and pentagon are then shown to be found in many flowers and animals, such as the petunia, the star jasmine, the starfish, the wax flower or hoya, and sea shells.

Games

Donald learns that mathematics applies not only to nature, architecture, and music, but also to games, including chess, baseball, football, basketball, hopscotch, and three-cushion billiards. Donald even volunteers the game Tiddlywinks, but the Spirit does not pursue this option. Themes of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass are scattered throughout the chess scene; Carroll himself was both a writer and a mathematician. The extended billiards scene, which features a non-speaking live actor, describes the calculations involved in the game's "diamond system," and Donald finally learns how to do the calculations but in an exorbitant way with hitting many more cushions than three.

Mental exercises

The Spirit then asks Donald to play a mental game, but he finds Donald's mind to be too cluttered with "Antiquated Ideas", "Bungling", "False Concepts", "Superstitions", and "Confusion". After some mental house-cleaning, Donald plays with a circle and a triangle in his mind, and he discovers useful inventions such as the wheel, train, magnifying glass, drill, propeller, and telescope.

Infinity and the future

Donald discovers that pentagrams can be drawn inside each other indefinitely. Therefore, mathematics provides an avenue to consider the infinite. The Spirit states that scientific knowledge and technological advances are unlimited, and the key to unlocking the doors of the future is mathematics. By the end of the film, Donald understands and appreciates the value of mathematics. The film closes with a quote from Galileo: "Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe".

Characters

Home video releases

VHS

DVD

Gallery


v - e - d
Donald-duck-disney-animated-shorts-4fb626c1a6531
1930s
The Wise Little Hen | Donald and Pluto | Don Donald | Modern Inventions | Self Control | Donald's Better Self | Donald's Nephews | Good Scouts | Donald's Golf Game | Donald's Lucky Day | The Hockey Champ | Donald's Cousin Gus | Beach Picnic | Sea Scouts | Donald's Penguin | The Autograph Hound | Officer Duck
1940s
The Riveter | Donald's Dog Laundry | Mr. Duck Steps Out | Put-Put Troubles | Donald's Vacation | The Volunteer Worker | Window Cleaners | The Fire Chief | Timber | The Golden Eggs | A Good Time for a Dime | Early to Bed | Truant Officer Donald | Old MacDonald Duck | Donald's Camera | Chef Donald | Donald's Snow Fight | Donald Gets Drafted | Donald's Garden | Donald's Gold Mine | The Vanishing Private | Sky Trooper | Bellboy Donald | Der Fuehrer's Face | Donald's Tire Trouble | The Flying Jalopy | Fall Out-Fall In | The Old Army Game | Home Defense | Trombone Trouble | Donald Duck and the Gorilla | Contrary Condor | Commando Duck | The Plastics Inventor | Donald's Off Day | The Clock Watcher | The Eyes Have It | Donald's Crime | Duck Pimples | Cured Duck | Old Sequoia | Donald's Double Trouble | Wet Paint | Dumbell of the Yukon | Lighthouse Keeping | Straight Shooters | Sleepy Time Donald | Clown of the Jungle | Donald's Dilemma | Bootle Beetle | Wide Open Spaces | Chip an' Dale | Drip Dippy Donald | Daddy Duck | Donald's Dream Voice | The Trial of Donald Duck | Inferior Decorator | Soup's On | Three for Breakfast | Tea for Two Hundred | Donald's Happy Birthday | Sea Salts | Winter Storage | Honey Harvester | All in a Nutshell | The Greener Yard | Slide, Donald, Slide | Toy Tinkers
1950s
Lion Around | Crazy Over Daisy | Trailer Horn | Hook, Lion and Sinker | Bee at the Beach | Out on a Limb | Dude Duck | Corn Chips | Test Pilot Donald | Lucky Number | Bee on Guard | Donald Applecore | Let's Stick Together | Uncle Donald's Ants | Trick or Treat | Don's Fountain of Youth | The New Neighbor | Rugged Bear | Working for Peanuts | Canvas Back Duck | Spare the Rod | Donald's Diary | Dragon Around | Grin and Bear It | The Flying Squirrel | Grand Canyonscope | No Hunting | Bearly Asleep | Beezy Bear | Up a Tree | Chips Ahoy | How to Have an Accident in the Home | How to Have an Accident at Work
1960s
The Litterbug
Educational Shorts
Donald in Mathmagic Land | Donald and the Wheel | Steel and America | Donald's Fire Survival Plan | Family Planning
See Also
DuckTales and Quack Pack


v - e - d
Alice-in-wonderland-53eb344b46a40
Media

Films: Alice in Wonderland (Video) | 2010 film (Video) | Alice Through the Looking Glass
TV Series: Adventures in Wonderland (Episode List) | Bonkers | House of Mouse | Once Upon a Time | Once Upon a Time in Wonderland | A Poem Is...
Shorts and Specials: A Lesson in Appreciating Differences | Donald in Mathmagic Land | Reading Magic with Figment and Alice in Wonderland | One Hour in Wonderland | Operation Wonderland
Books: Book for Colors | Alice Favorites | It's About Time! | Little Golden Book | Disney Read-Along | Classic Storybook | Big Golden Book | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Paper Doll | Paper Dolls | Finds the Garden of Live Flowers | Alice in the White Rabbit's House | Meets the White Rabbit | Alice's Tea Party | Alice's Wonderland Adventure | Mad Hatter's Tea Party | Grin and Play | Down the Rabbit Hole | Alice Meets the White Rabbit | Disney Classics Little Golden Book Library | Wonderland | A Matter of Time
Video Games: Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days | Kingdom Hearts coded | Kingdom Hearts χ | Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ | 2000 game | Alice no Paint Adventure | Disney INFINITY | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition | 2010 game | Kinect Disneyland Adventures | Hidden Worlds | Disney Magical World | Disney Universe | Disney's Villains' Revenge
Music: Alice and the Mad Tea Party | Alice and the Trial | Alice and the White Rabbit | All the Songs from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland | Little Nipper Giant Storybook Record Album | Almost Alice

Disney Parks

Animated film: Alice's Curious Labyrinth | Alice in Wonderland | Art of Animation | Club Villain | Disney Animation Building | It's a Small World | Mad Tea Party | Mickey Mouse Revue | Storybook Land Canal Boats
Live action: Alice in Wonderland Maze | Mad T Party | The Nightmare Experiment
Entertainment: Celebrate the Magic | Disney in the Stars | Once Upon a Time | One Man's Dream | Queen of Hearts's Easter Bonnet Party
Restaurants: Cheshire Cafe | March Hare Refreshments | Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
Shops: The Mad Hatter
Parade: Disney Magic on Parade | Disney On Parade 100 Years of Magic | Disney on Parade | Happiness is Here Parade | Main Street Electrical Parade | Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Halloween: Disney's Maleficious Halloween Party | Happy Hallowishes | Inferno Dance Party | It's Good To Be Bad With The Disney Villains | Re-Villains! Halloween Parade | The Nightmare Experiment | Villains Mix and Mingle | Villains Night Out!
Christmas: Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration

Characters

Animated film: Alice | Dinah | Alice's sister | Mad Hatter | March Hare | Dormouse | White Rabbit | Cheshire Cat | The Doorknob | Dodo | Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum | The Walrus and the Carpenter | Curious Oysters | Bill the Lizard | Rose and the Flowers | Rose and the flowers | Caterpillar | Hammer and Pencil Birds | Mome Raths | Card Soldiers | Queen of Hearts | King of Hearts | Flamingos | Hedgehogs
Live action films: Alice Kingsleigh | Charles Kingsleigh | Margaret Kingsleigh | Helen Kingsleigh | Lady Ascot | Lord Ascot | Hamish Ascot | Fiona and Faith Chattaway | Nivins McTwisp | Tarrant Hightopp | Thackery Earwicket | Mally | Absolem | The Tweedle Boys | Chessur | Uilleam | Bielle | Bayard | Frog Servants | Tall Flowers | The Red Queen | The White Queen | Knave of Hearts | Monkey Servants | Bandersnatch | The Jub Jub Bird | Jabberwocky | Armoured Cards | Armoured Chess Pieces | Time
Other: Mary Ann | Humpty Dumpty

Objects

Animated film: Drink Me Bottle | Eat Me Cookies | White Rabbit's Watch
Live action films: Upelkuchen | Oraculum | Chronosphere
Other: Mad Hatter's hat

Locations

Animated film: Wonderland | Rabbit Hole | The Exterior | White Rabbit's House | Shoreline | The Meadow of Living Flowers | The Mushroom | The Mad Hatter's House | The Queen of Hearts' Castle | Wonderland Maze | Tulgey Wood | England | London
Live action films: Underland | The Red Queen's Castle | The White Queen's Castle | Time's Castle

Songs

Animated film: Alice in Wonderland | In a World of My Own | I'm Late | Sailor's Hornpipe | The Caucus Race | How Do You Do and Shake Hands | The Walrus and the Carpenter | Old Father William | All in the Golden Afternoon | The Unbirthday Song | Very Good Advice | Painting the Roses Red | Dodgsonland | Ocean of Tears | Simon Says | Whooooo Are Youuuuu?
Live action films: Alice's theme | Alice | Just Like Fire | White Rabbit
Deleted: Beyond the Laughing Sky | Beautiful Soup | Beware the Jabberwock | I'm Odd | The Lobster Quadrille | Gavotte of the Cards | Entrance of the Executioner | When the Wind is in the East | So They Say

Deleted Concepts and Characters

Jabberwocky | Anthropomorphic "Drink Me" Bottle | The Puppy | The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle | 1933 film | 1939 film

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