Thursday, December 08, 2011

Walter Cronkite - Narrator's voice in Spaceship Earth and IllumiNations Special Christmas Finale

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009), "the most trusted man in America" was the anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years and reported, during his profiesional life, the World War II, Nuremberg Trials, Vietnam War, the Death of President Kennedy, Watergate, Iran Hostage Crisis, the U.S. Space Program, from Project Mercury and the Moon landings to the Space Shuttle, the Beatles’ first American TV broadcast and much, much more.

He was the only non-NASA recipient of a Moon-rock award.

From May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994, he was the narrator's voice in the EPCOT attraction, Spaceship Earth, at Walt Disney World.

In 1989 he featured in a 9-minute film entitled Back to Neverland, at the former MGM Studios, (written and directed by Jerry Rees whose include directing the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Pre and Post videos with Aerosmith and the new version of Epcot's "Oh Canada" film, and more) served as the intro to the Magic of Disney Animation Attraction, the walking tour of Disney’s Animation facility.

Since november, 1999 he is the voice wishing Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men, at the IllumiNations Special Christmas Finale.

Jerry Rees recalled, “Walter was exactly the charming intelligent guy you would imagine him to be.  What he presented on the air and what he was in person was one and the same.”

It is interesting to also note that Williams’ performance in Back to Neverland is what ultimately led to his casting as the Genie in Aladdin. You can instantly see why when watching this clip from the short film, which includes a quick animated impersonation of Cronkite by Williams:

Rees concluded, “In an era when ‘reality’ is anything but real, he and his approach are a lost treasure.”

And that's the way it is!

Here you can see Cronkite as the mystery guest at What's my Line show :)

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