In the early 1950s the movie studios in Hollywood viewed television as a major threat to their business, but Walt Disney saw it as a major opportunity. At that time he was in the process of creating his most ambitious project, a theme park in Anaheim, California to be called "Disneyland." Needing marketing for his new venture, Disney approached executives at the fledgling network ABC and sold them on the idea of a weekly anthology program. Broadcast in black and white on Sunday, October 27th, 1954, the television show Disneyland was an immediate success. Walt himself personally introduced each show which consisted of films and shorts taken from the studio library as well as series about American historic characters, one of whom was Davy Crockett. Starring Fess Parker, the series of three shows, along with its theme song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," became a huge hit. Peter Ellenshaw not only did matte paintings for "Davy Crockett," but he was also enlisted to help with the new theme park, doing work on the Tomorrowland ride of 'X-1 Satellite View of America' and the 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' attraction. Peter also produced and directed the first 360 degree circle vision film -- in deference to its sponsor American Motors called "Circarama."
This painting by Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw commemorates the golden anniversary of the first Disneyland program. In the distance are the searchlights at the entrance to the park, a tribute to the animated title sequence of that early classic television show.