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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 HenDonald and PlutoDon DonaldModern InventionsDonald's OstrichSelf ControlDonald's Better SelfDonald's NephewsGood ScoutsDonald's Golf GameDonald's Lucky DayThe Hockey ChampDonald's Cousin GusBeach PicnicSea ScoutsDonald's PenguinThe Autograph HoundOfficer DuckThe Fox Hunt (co-starring Goofy) • Polar Trappers (co-starring Goofy)
1940s
The RiveterDonald's Dog LaundryMr. Duck Steps OutPut-Put TroublesDonald's VacationThe Volunteer WorkerWindow CleanersThe Fire ChiefTimberThe Golden EggsA Good Time for a DimeEarly to BedTruant Officer DonaldOld MacDonald DuckDonald's CameraChef DonaldDonald's Snow FightDonald Gets DraftedDonald's GardenDonald's Gold MineThe Vanishing PrivateThe Village SmithySky TrooperBellboy DonaldDer Fuehrer's FaceDonald's Tire TroubleThe Flying JalopyFall Out-Fall InThe Old Army GameHome DefenseTrombone TroubleDonald Duck and the GorillaContrary CondorCommando DuckThe Plastics InventorDonald's Off DayThe Clock WatcherThe Eyes Have ItDonald's CrimeDuck PimplesCured DuckOld SequoiaDonald's Double TroubleWet PaintDumbell of the YukonLighthouse KeepingStraight ShootersSleepy Time DonaldClown of the JungleDonald's DilemmaBootle BeetleWide Open SpacesChip an' DaleDrip Dippy DonaldDaddy DuckDonald's Dream VoiceThe Trial of Donald DuckInferior DecoratorSoup's OnThree for BreakfastTea for Two HundredDonald's Happy BirthdaySea SaltsWinter StorageHoney HarvesterAll in a NutshellThe Greener YardSlide, Donald, SlideToy TinkersBillposters (co-starring Goofy) • No Sail (co-starring Goofy) • Frank Duck Brings 'em Back Alive (co-starring Goofy) • Crazy with the Heat (co-starring Goofy)
1950s
Lion AroundCrazy Over DaisyTrailer HornHook, Lion and SinkerBee at the BeachOut on a LimbDude DuckCorn ChipsTest Pilot DonaldLucky NumberOut of ScaleBee on GuardDonald ApplecoreLet's Stick TogetherUncle Donald's AntsTrick or TreatDon's Fountain of YouthThe New NeighborRugged BearWorking for PeanutsCanvas Back DuckSpare the RodDonald's DiaryDragon AroundGrin and Bear ItThe Flying SquirrelGrand CanyonscopeNo HuntingBearly AsleepBeezy BearUp a TreeChips Ahoy
1960s
The Litterbug
Educational Shorts
How to Have an Accident in the HomeHow to Have an Accident at WorkDonald in Mathmagic LandDonald and the WheelSteel and AmericaDonald's Fire Survival PlanFamily Planning
See Also
DuckTalesQuack 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) • BonkersHouse of MouseOnce Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time in WonderlandA Poem Is...
Shorts and Specials: A Lesson in Appreciating DifferencesDonald in Mathmagic LandReading Magic with Figment and Alice in WonderlandOne Hour in WonderlandOperation Wonderland
Books: Book for ColorsAlice FavoritesIt's About Time!Little Golden BookDisney Read-AlongClassic StorybookBig Golden BookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingPaper DollPaper DollsFinds the Garden of Live FlowersAlice in the White Rabbit's HouseMeets the White RabbitAlice's Tea PartyAlice's Wonderland AdventureMad Hatter's Tea PartyGrin and PlayDown the Rabbit HoleAlice Meets the White RabbitDisney Classics Little Golden Book LibraryWonderlandA Matter of Time
Video Games: Kingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysKingdom Hearts coded Kingdom Hearts χ Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ/Union χ2000 gameAlice no Paint AdventureDisney INFINITYDisney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition2010 gameKinect Disneyland AdventuresHidden WorldsDisney Magical WorldDisney UniverseDisney's Villains' RevengeDisney Crossy RoadDisney Emoji Blitz
Music: Alice and the Mad Tea PartyAlice and the TrialAlice and the White RabbitAll the Songs from Walt Disney's Alice in WonderlandLittle Nipper Giant Storybook Record AlbumAlmost Alice

Disney Parks
Animated film: Alice's Curious LabyrinthAlice in WonderlandArt of AnimationClub VillainDisney Animation BuildingIt's a Small WorldMad Tea PartyMickey Mouse RevueStorybook Land Canal Boats

Live action: Alice in Wonderland MazeMad T PartyThe Nightmare Experiment
Entertainment: Cinderellabration: Lights of RomanceMickey's Gift of DreamsMickey presents: “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris”One Man's DreamQueen of Hearts's Easter Bonnet Party
Restaurants: Cheshire CafeMarch Hare RefreshmentsQueen of Hearts Banquet Hall
Shops: The Mad Hatter
Parade: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney Magic on ParadeDisney On Parade 100 Years of MagicDisney on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeMain Street Electrical ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's WaterWorksMinnie's Little Spring TrainSpectroMagicWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney in the StarsOnce Upon a Time
Halloween: Disney's Maleficious Halloween PartyHappy HallowishesInferno Dance PartyIt's Good To Be Bad With The Disney VillainsRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Nightmare ExperimentVillains Mix and MingleVillains Night Out!
Christmas: Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration

Characters
Animated film: AliceDinahAlice's older sisterMad HatterMarch HareDormouseWhite RabbitCheshire CatThe DoorknobDodoTweedle Dee and Tweedle DumThe Walrus and the CarpenterCurious OystersBill the LizardFlowers of WonderlandCaterpillarHammer and Pencil BirdsMome RathsCard SoldiersQueen of HeartsKing of HeartsFlamingosHedgehogs

Live action films: Alice KingsleighCharles KingsleighMargaret KingsleighHelen KingsleighLady AscotLord AscotHamish AscotFiona and Faith ChattawayNivins McTwispTarrant HightoppThackery EarwicketMallyAbsolemThe Tweedle BoysChessurUilleamBielleBayardFrog ServantsTall FlowersThe Red QueenThe White QueenKnave of HeartsMonkey ServantsBandersnatchThe Jub Jub BirdJabberwockyArmoured CardsArmoured Chess PiecesTime
Other: Mary AnnHumpty Dumpty

Objects
Animated film: Drink Me BottleEat Me CookiesWhite Rabbit's Watch

Live action films: UpelkuchenOraculumChronosphere
Other: Mad Hatter's hat

Locations
Animated film: WonderlandThe ExteriorWhite Rabbit's HouseShorelineThe Meadow of Living FlowersThe MushroomThe Mad Hatter's HouseThe Queen of Hearts' CastleWonderland MazeTulgey WoodEnglandLondon

Live action films: UnderlandThe Red Queen's CastleThe White Queen's CastleTime's Castle

Songs
Animated film: Alice in WonderlandIn a World of My OwnI'm LateSailor's HornpipeThe Caucus RaceHow Do You Do and Shake HandsThe Walrus and the CarpenterOld Father WilliamSmoke the Blighter OutAll in the Golden AfternoonA-E-I-O-UThe Unbirthday SongVery Good AdvicePainting the Roses RedDodgsonlandOcean of TearsSimon SaysWhooooo Are Youuuuu?

Live action films: Alice's themeAliceJust Like FireWhite Rabbit
Deleted: Beyond the Laughing SkyBeautiful SoupBeware the JabberwockI'm OddThe Lobster QuadrilleGavotte of the CardsEntrance of the ExecutionerWhen the Wind is in the EastSo They SayEverything Has a UsenessDream CaravanSpeak Roughly to Your Little BoyIf You'll Believe in Me

Deleted Concepts and Characters
JabberwockyAnthropomorphic "Drink Me" BottleThe PuppyThe Gryphon and the Mock Turtle1933 film1939 film