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Family Vacation at its Finest

Author: gavin6942 from United States
27 May 2016

In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur documentary film tells the story of their family adventure, filmed on the scene at Walt Disney's "Magic Kingdom."

What makes this such a great documentary is how it really is not a true documentary at all. While for the most part it is the true story of a family who entered a 3M contest to win a trip to Disneyland, the best parts are the ones that happen to be staged. The fake fainting is great, for example. And even the mailman gets in on the act.

1950s American may not be the ideal time we wish it was, but if it ever was magical, that feeling is captured best here. This looks like a truly happy family. And then Steve Martin shows up...

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This might be the happiest film ever made.

Author: Daniel Speight from England
25 May 2016

In 1956 Robbins Barstow and his family answered a competition to come up with a slogan for Scotch cellophane tape. They were one of 25 winners in the United States to win a 7-day trip to Disney Land, California.

This film document's this in a way that all other home-movies strive to do, a way that makes this feel like a genuine documentary. In 1995 a voice-over was added by Barstow which better introduces all the people and locations in the film and overall is a lovely companion to the footage.

It's amazing to see how little Disneyland really has changed, sure there are a lot more attractions and such, but the fundamentals remain the same.

There isn't a moment of unhappiness in Disneyland Dream, it is a pure joy to watch and re-live this families Disneyland adventure.

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The Best Home Movie Ever

Author: Henry_Framus_Valentine from Anaheim
22 December 2014

Disneyland Dream is a surprisingly engaging home movie about a visit to Disneyland, Anaheim, in 1956, by the wonderfully American Barstow family. Robbins Barstow's narration (from 1995) is better than competent and he handles the camera much more skillfully than your average amateur. The best thing about the home movie is the view we have of mid-1950s America: the clothing and customs, pre-jet airline travel, side trips to Universal Studios, Santa Catalina Island, Hollywood Boulevard, and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Living in Orange County, I have been to Disneyland countless times in the last 55 years and it is a thrill to see what it looked like a couple of years before my first visit.

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