SIOUX CITY — This month, Siouxland film fans will be able to catch a screening of a documentary with a whole lot of local connections.
On Thursday, April 21, at 6 p.m., Western Iowa Tech Community College is holding a screening of the 2019 film “Growing Magic: The Mickey Mouse Cornfield Story” which was written by Buena Vista University students, narrated by former KTIV reporter Bruce Scheid and focuses on North Iowa residents who made a 520-acre “card” for Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday.
According to a press release, the presentation, which is being held at the Cargill Auditorium, is meant to honor Scheid who died in 2021. “Unfortunately, Bruce passed away in 2021 without being able to see Growing Magic,” the release said.
The idea to plant crops in the summer of 1988 in a way in which a silhouette of Mickey Mouse could be seen by airline travelers was the brainchild of Jack Lindquist, then-vice president of publicity for Disneyland. Lindquist asked Disney pilots if they knew what the most flown-over region of the continental U.S. was at that time. They reported it was over north-central Iowa and southern Minnesota.
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The planting of corn and oats followed a blueprint provided by a Disney artist and a surveying crew. By July, crop-dusting pilots could see the image emerging. News spread fast, leading to a front-page story by USA Today and coverage in the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press and more. Pilots reportedly diverted flight tracks by a few miles to give airline passengers a glimpse at the Mickey Mouse coming to life in an Iowa cornfield.
The effort culminated with a Disney Days festival on a steamy weekend in August, a party with appearances by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. An estimated 20,000 people swarmed tiny Sheffield, Iowa, for the gala.