True Genius Walt Disney explained: “The cartoon is a good medium to stimulate interest. We have recently explained mathematics in a film and in that way excited public interest in this very important subject.”
Donald in Mathmagic Land is a 27-minute Donald Duck educational featurette released on June 26, 1959. It was directed by Hamilton Luske. Contributors included Disney artists John Hench and Art Riley, voice talent Paul Frees, and scientific expert Heinz Haber, who had worked on the Disney space shows.
It was released on a bill with Darby O’Gill and the Little People. In 1959, it was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Documentary – Short Subjects). In 1961, two years after its release, it had the honor of being introduced by Ludwig Von Drake and shown on the first program of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The film was made available to schools and became one of the most popular educational films ever made by Disney.