It's astounding that this particular "Disneyland" episode hasn't got any reviews yet, so I figured I'd write one. Why the lack of reviews is astounding? Well, for several reasons. For starters, this particular episode featured the catchy and instantly recognizable song 'Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier', which would become the theme song of all following Disney-made Davy Crockett episodes and movies.
Additionally, this was the first episode of a five-parter which was commissioned by Disney in an effort to both popularize American historical figures and at the same time make a buck out of them. If this strategy would prove successful, Crockett and others would also get their own section in Disneyland.
And popular they were. Over 300 million dollars worth of Davy Crockett merchandise was sold in just over a year, or 3 billion dollars in today's money. The franchise was successfully exported to Britain and mainland Europe. A French translation of the song topped the French charts for five consecutive weeks.
This and the following episodes were filmed in color at a ranch in California and a Native American reservation in North Carolina. Though originally broadcast in black-and-white, the color reels were restored a few years later and broadcast again after color TV was introduced.
I won't spoil the story, but it's pretty straightforward. Davy Crockett fights 'bars', helps fight rebellious Native Americans in the Creek War of 1813-1814 and at the same time helps create greater understanding of and respect for each other on both sides.
The script's fine, the acting's nothing to be ashamed of and the production values are great for 1950s television. Whether or not the episode (and the following four episodes in the five-parter) actually merited the Crockett craze which followed it, well, even Disney couldn't say: he later stated the whole craze left him dumbfounded and came as a total surprise.
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