Roving Mars

Rated 4.0

The new IMAX film is from Walt Disney Pictures, and it’s great fun. The Disney connection is appropriate because it’s actually a throwback to the “Man into Space” episodes that ran on the old Disneyland series back in the 1950s. The format is the same: documentary footage mixed with animated simulations and talking-head commentary. What’s different is that back then they were predicting the future; this time, director George Butler and co-writer Robert Andrus recount real expeditions by two NASA robots—their development and launching and what they found when they got to the red planet. Plus, of course, the computer-generated simulations are better than anything possible 50 years ago. And it’s all in IMAX. The introduction (the kind of thing Walt himself did back then) is read by Paul Newman.