See How Much the Disney Cartoonists Got Right

7 Responses to “See How Much the Disney Cartoonists Got Right”

  1. Energy is the common denominator in nearly every one of the predictions: increased consumption, that is, rather than diminished consumption as the environmentalists demand (who also seem to prefer the teepee over Disney’s futuristic architecture).

  2. Steve Horwitz

    I LOVE stuff like this. I’d say about 25 or 30% is about right. What’s interesting is that they still seemed stuck in the sort of quasi-centralized vision of the economy of the mid-20th century.

    What’s more interesting, though, is that for all of their visionary creativity about transportation, they couldn’t imagine a family structure different from their own. Dad still was the income earner and Mom still stayed at home.

    The hard part about science fiction is not the science but the social science.

  3. Considering that a lot of their predictions had to be driven by “what would look good in a cartoon” rather than “what will happen one day”, they did all right. Bonus points for predicting suburban sprawl. But I don’t get why the roads need to be color-coded if the cars drive themselves.

  4. Tom G. Palmer

    Good catch, Kim!

    One third seems about right, but then, there’s the question of over what time span.

    I was also struck by the gender roles, but then, one would not have expected anything else from a Disney Family Cartoon. People are much more willing to entertain speculation about changes in the mechanism by which they drive to work than in how their marriage works. And, in any case, that’s harder to speculate about, in any case.

    I wrote a piece about twenty years ago ( ) in which I speculated about how people would get music in a digital age where copyright is harder to enforce. There was no wifi at the time, so I could not imagine sitting in a coffee shop with a laptop and downloading movies through iTunes.

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