Intermission: Our Friend, the Atom

Walt Disney’s 1957 animated series "Our Friend, the Atom" was shown in public schools, at the request of the Eisenhower administration.


I recently saw the above video Our Friend, the Atom at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's exhibition on California design, “Living in a Modern Way.” The 1957 Disney animated series was created at the request of the Eisenhower administration to be screened in public school science classes. Cut to 4:40 to see nuclear power as a blue genie that must be tricked into submission by man. It’s a bit disturbing to see how idealistic we were about the Nuclear Age even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, especially since we haven’t even come so far from those days.

Once 1950s nuclear animation becomes your new favorite hobby, check out General Electric’s A for Atom and speculate on the relationship between a certain blue nuclear giant and Dr. Manhattan.