Donald in Mathmagicland

An Educational Cartoon

Release Date : June 26, 1959

Running Time : 27:31

Synopsis

Donald wanders into a magical land where the beauty of the laws of mathematics unfold before him.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Asst. Director
Vincent McEveety
Animation
Jerry Hathcock
John Sibley
Bob Carlson
Eric Cleworth
Cliff Nordberg
Harvey Toombs
Bob McCrea
Backgrounds
Richard H. Thomas
Thelma Witmer
Jimi Trout
Collin Campbell
Effects Animation
Jack Boyd
Layout
McLaren Stewart
Al Zinnen
Basil Davidovich
Vance Gerry
Story
Milt Banta
Bill Berg
Dr. Heinz Haber
Music
Buddy Baker
Art Director
Stan Jolley
Styling
John Hench
Art Riley
Director of Photography
Edward Colman
Film Editor
Lloyd Richardson
Special Processes
Eustace Lycett
Sound
Robert O. Cook
Supervising Director
Hamilton Luske
Sequence Director
Wolfgang Reitherman
Les Clark
Joshua Meador

Video

United States
Walt Disney Mini Classics : Donald in Mathmagicland
Germany
Donald Duck in Mathmagicland
Italy
Donald in Mathmagicland

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald in Mathmagicland

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 8 : The Chronological Donald Volume 4
Germany
Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 3
Italy
Walt Disney Le Fiabe 1
United Kingdom
Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 3

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 68
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 47
Walt Disney Presents: Adventures in Color

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Comments

From Clydie Clyde : "I'm no pawn - I'm Donald Duck!" - now, that's emancipation! Besides being typically entertaining - this short contains about a half-ton of useful information (like, say - for the classroom) that is difficult to find elsewhere. As an endorsement of the pragmatic application of mathematics, "Donald's Adventures in Mathemagic Land" is fun and accessible as few things are - and, as I recall, our stumbling marijuana kids enjoy it a lot, too (it "blows their minds"). Drugs are dumb. Donald rules (and plays some mean bongos)!
From S.L. Ross : This is a wonderful short! The educational values are multi-fold. Not only is it great for teaching mathematics, but it also gives children (of all ages) a preliminary education on one of the most prominent Ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras. I had watched this film in elementary school a few times and have always had fond memories of it. Imagine my surprise when, twenty years later, I was reminded of the wonderful short when my graduate course began covering Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. This is a film that provide educational material that will stay with you forever. If you can find a copy, get it!
From Theresa C. Fritz : I am a high school mathematics teacher and the mother of 2 children (ages 4 and 6). Donald in Mathmagic Land is a favorite movie for all of the teenagers that I instruct. I am searching for a way to purchase the movie for both personal and professional use. (Donald in Mathmagic Land is an all-time favorite for me too!) Any help would be appreciated.
From Colleen Murray : This is the only video I can vividly remember from my early educational experience. It was great and I wish I had a copy, but nobody seems to remember this but me...at least so I thought.
From Aleehsa : I am currently a college student at one of the top five schools in my region and our math professor used this video in a contemporary math class. I had never seen this video before this. I really enjoyed this video it opened my eyes to the uses of math. I use to be one of those "math haters" but after this class, with the help of this video, I see that math is everywhere. It is what we see, do, and speak on a daily basis. All teachers should have this in their school collection.
From Charles Hultquist : I came here as I suppose most of you have, surfing around and ended up searching on Google using the title from one of my all time favorite school movies! I am a baby boomer, born ´55. I've only seen this film once but it made a LASTING impression. Like lots of boomers I am interested now in reliving my salad days so I sure would like to find a video or DVD source this for this film. Also of interest would be some of the educational films from the Bell Laboratories, in particular "Our Mr. Sun", remember that one?
From Spencer : We watched this many times in math classes growing up. Who didn't learn how to play pool from Donald Duck?
From Dawn Curtis : I have seen this wonderful film in many of my math classes in high school. Every year I learned something new. Now as a math teacher myself, I plan on using it in my classroom to educate my students and motivate them to learn more about math.
From Carolyn : Every year in elementary school (Midvale Elementary, Birmingham, Michigan) the teachers would role in the film projector to bring this wonderful movie to us. It was an incredible treat and something we all looked forward to. I loved the billiard game scene!
From Miss M : A video unlike any other. A video that kindergartners will enjoy as well as college students. This video was shown in my math methods class (math for elementary teachers) and I loved it. From the Square Roots on the trees to the pool table analogies, to the music, this video has something for everyone. I strongly feel this video should be brought back into production as it will be an asset to any teacher's collection.
From Bhaskaram Kasturi : It is simply superb. The ideas from simple addition to limits are highlighted in a superb fashion. I like this short. It is a must in every school library
From Daniel McLaury : I know some people who memorized the first several digits of pi by watching this movie in a continuous loop... great conversation starter!

This short is to math what Fantasia was to classical music -- a wonderful, humorous introduction that inspired entire generations to learn about something beautiful they might have completely neglected.


From Abrey : The Walt Disney Company also published a comic book as a companion to the short film (Dell Publishing Company #1198, 1961). I have a tattered copy of it still, somewhere in my collection of odds and ends. It is just as entertaining as the film itself. I wonder if anyone knows whether the comic book has been reprinted.
From Jerry Newport : I write as a middle aged adult who grew up as an undiagnosed autistic savant in math. I have to say that until I saw this short, I didn't like Donald Duck at all. I hated the way people made fun of his tantrums and it reminded me of myself.

But this short changed me into a Donald Duck fan. I knew most of the math facts but to see them in such an entertaining manner was very cool.


From Theresa : I had never seen this short until I was in college. One of my math professors showed it in class. I myself learned so much that I had never thought about from watching that video. I teach middle school math, and at first thought the video being Donald Duck would be too elementary for my students. Much to my surprise they love it. Awesome learning tool.
From Mike W. : I was young when I first saw the movie. And then in 7th grade my Algebra 1a teacher played the movie on the last week of school. That was last year, and I still loved it. I was the only person laughing.
From Brandon Rotruck : This is an absolutely wonderful work of genius. I loved the section on music, and the section on Pythagoras. The only way this movie could be better would be if it were a 2-3 hour feature!
From Amber : This movie is the reason I'm majoring in math. I saw it for the first time when I was four years old. My family was living in Trenton, TN and there was a copy at the local Blockbuster, so every time we rented movies, this was my pick.
From Steven Sayle : This film was one of the best I've ever seen. Not only was it entertaining, but it taught so many kids something about math, even those who didn't like math. It's about thirty-five years later now and I'll still recall this short and the impact it made on my own life.
From Chuck Langerman : I've been teaching math for the last 27 years. I've seen the film Donald in Mathmagic Land exactly 162 times. And every time I view it, I learn something new. It is a classic.
From Patrycya Tolbert : Donald in Mathmagic Land is my all time favorite video. I've seen it hundreds of times during my 37 year teaching career. I purchased the video approximately 5 years ago. Last school term I loaned it to a first year teacher and unfortunately the teacher never returned it. I was online looking for a site from which I could purchase another copy when I found your site.
From Alice Nelson : I used to show this short to my 8th grade math classes in the early 1960's, but I haven't been able to find a copy of it since. I always got chill bumps when Donald was running around trying to open closed doors. Then the closing with the Galileo quote was the best.
From Jim Farrer : I used it on the last day of class before I retired this year, which seemed appropriate. Most of my 7th graders had never seen it and watched it to the end. When it was done, I asked them when they thought it was made, and most answers were in the 80's. The copyright date is in Roman Numerals (MCMLIX) so our last math problem was to find the date base 10 (1959).
From Benny the Ball : The coolest part for me was the lengthy demonstration of the mathematical concepts behind the game of billiards. That's the part that stuck with me for lo those many years between the time I saw it a child and again as an adult. That and Paul Frees' always-distinctive narration. Brilliant!
From Shael : I saw this cartoon from elementary school and have remembered it all these years! I am no math genius, but the concepts were explained in such a way that I could actually understand them, and have fun learning about them. Now, years later, I see things on the Discovery channel and in novels that talk about "the golden ratio" and other things associated with the cartoon, and it thrills me that I can relate! I have found a copy of the cartoon for my 3 kids and I can't wait to share it with them! Just amazing. Thanks, Walt!
From Jim Pinard : A truly brilliant short that is not only an exploration of timeless math concepts that stick with you for life, it's also a darn creative piece of animation in itself. My four-year old loves it.
From Joe Jones : I first saw this film as a rookie teacher in the late seventies and my teaching of math has been different ever since. I and showed it to my six classes of gifted and talented fourth graders today knowing that it will reinforce what I have been teaching them. I am sure that it will have a positive impact on their thinking in the future.

In November I will be presenting a four-hour workshop on math at the annual convention of the New Jersey Education Association and will recommend that all teachers share this film with their students.


From Melvin Miles, Sr. : I am a music teacher and I have been using this film as a introduction to my General Music Classes for years. It is a perfect way to introduce the Father of Music and show how music connects to other disciplines.
From Baruch Weiss : Truly a thoughtful, beautiful cartoon, but not all that great in my opinion, but I liked the scene where Donald goes back in time to play music with the Greeks.
From Da Von : I recall first coming across this short as a video copy (or video copies) and part of the Disney Mini-Classics series at a very few, various video stores like Blockbuster when I was little, but it would be years before I finally saw it. The first time I saw it was in May 2005, while in Physics class, when I was in the 12th grade. It's a really great short that surely knows how to make math more interesting, easier to understand and fun. Math had always been my least favorite subject and weakest, especially with the too difficult stuff I hated doing and almost always had trouble. I didn't really hate doing all kinds though, the simpler ones I can do like equations never gave me problems. Amazing how there's so much that can be done with numbers and just how much they play such a major part in everything though. Anyway, I'd recommend this to students who have a hard time solving the really complex math and are bad at them as it just might help them do better and improve their grades hopefully, even if the kinds of math that are such a hassle to them aren't featured here. Another great, interesting, eye-opening Disney short. To rephrase what I typed about my math skills actually ... some math I can do well; some others I can't. As for my favorite parts, if I were to chose any, I guess it would be the figuring out the precise or accurate diamonds to shoot the cue ball towards to get the right point or shot in playing pool, the Pythagorean scenes, and when Donald is dressed as Alice from Alice In Wonderland and the chess figures mistook Donald for a pawn.
From Cameron : This was one of the cartoons I remembered from my childhood. It was so cool for me, from the music to the math. I'm pretty sure I didn't understand how it was mathematical, because I was so young then, but I loved it. Eventually, the library lost it and I never watched it again. I forgot the name and searched all over for it, and just recently I found it and watched it all over again. And it was twice the expierence! It's like going down memory lane while learning about math in the most fun way.

This will always be one of my favorite Disney cartoons.


From Teresa Rodkey : I have been using this video since 1980 as an exploration for the way math is used in our every day lives. I also have 22 year old son, whom loves this video. It is a great teaching tool. I even have an old poster with Donald in Mathmagic Land scene.
From : I watched this film after a google search of my husbands grandfathers name. The man playing billiards is my grandfather in-law Roman Yanez. He owned a billiards hall in Los angles in the 50's and played and held tournaments. My husband said he saw this movie when he was in the sixth grade and was shocked and did not know his grandfather had done this movie. He went home and asked his dad, he said he remembered something about his dad being asked to do this but never saw it. We named our second son after him Roman Lee Yanez. I had bought a used VHS tape to give him for keepsakes. We had a family gathering in 2003 to celebrate a new addition to the family and I showed everyone the tape. As I looked to my father in-law he had tears in his eyes. We had lost our beloved Roman back in 1983 and he was so pleased to see him again. Priceless moment.

Referenced Comments