Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Although advertised as a "premiere," the first episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was actually a continuation of the ABC anthology series that had run under the titles Disneyland and Walt Disney Presents since 1959. The major changes in the "new" version were twofold: Disney was now seen on NBC, and (of course) his program was broadcast in "living color" (and in fact was sponsored by RCA, foremost manufacturer of color TVs). Episode one opened in black-and-white, with Walt Disney discussing his plans for the future, then magically switched over to a full rainbow of hues. Further emphasizing the advantages of color over black-and-white, Disney compared his 1927 Mickey Mouse cartoon vehicle Plane Crazy with his earliest Technicolor effort, the 1932 "Silly Symphony" Flowers and Trees. Walt also introduced the viewers to his latest cartoon creation -- a brilliant, erudite Viennese duck named Ludwig Von Drake, who happened to be the uncle of good ol' Donald Duck (Professor Von Drake was not so brilliant as to disbelieve Donald's claims that Disney worked for him, instead of the other way around!). The remainder of the episode consists of the 1959 animated theatrical short subject Donald in Mathmagic Land, an entertainng foray into the world of numbers, angles, and shapes.