Disney: Some Davy Crockett Photos

Recently I’ve had some opportunities to revive a presentation I gave when I was employed full-time (and later, as a consultant) at The Walt Disney Company. Titled “Walt Disney’s Life Lessons,” the seminar focuses on Walt’s personal and business values in the context of several company milestones, from his earliest days in Kansas City through the end of his life.

This entailed digging through my Disney files again, which was a lot of fun. Creating sessions such as “Life Lessons” requires a good working knowledge of the company’s vast history, and to that end I’ve amassed thousands of Disney books, special publications, magazines and internal newsletters as well as reams of press releases, posters and photographs. Oh, and plenty of pinback buttons and lanyards.

Now that I have this blog, I thought it might be fun to periodically post some of the photos, along with some other things. Of course, the blogosphere is filled with Disneyphiles posting marvelous information and cool stuff everyday, and I can’t pretend to rival anything some of them put out. I’ll just feature stuff I’ve picked up preparing for and hosting events, as well as elsewhere in my Disney travels.

Quick side note: Click HERE to watch (and listen to) the “Ballad of Fess Parker,” a parody song I wrote and performed prior to an interview I conducted with him at the 2004 Walt Disney Art Classics Convention.

Here are some photos related to Disney’s production of Davy Crockett and the pop culture craze which ensued (just click to enlarge them. They’re pretty big). First off, many have seen this photo of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett in black and white…

Fess Parker as Davy Crockett (black & white)

Fess Parker as Davy Crockett (color)

…but here’s a slightly different pose (chin a bit higher, “Old Betsy” at a different angle) in marvelous color. Yes, that’s Disneyland’s very own Rivers of America in the background, somewhere between Bear/Critter Country (not when this shot was taken, of course) and the “mechanical” Indian Village (only a quick backstage hike through the trees from present day Toontown). This color shot was used for (among other things) the cover of the Three Adventures of Davy Crockett LP released on Disneyland Records (DQ-1315, itself a reissue of ST-1926 with a different cover).

Here’s a few more…

Fess Parker gets the drop on a whole troop of Davy Crockett fans

(above) At this live appearance, Fess Parker gets the drop on a whole troop of coonskin clad Crockett fans. Check out the kid in the back row center who is drawing a bead on the photographer. (below) In this staged promotional photo, Walt Disney reviews the Davy Crockett “script” with star Fess Parker and director Norman Foster. Parker looks a little happier — or at least less pensive — holding the gun than the guitar.

Walt Disney reviews the Davy Crockett script with his director and the film\'s star, Fess Parker

Finally, here’s one of my favorite Walt Disney photos (below), taken at “Disney Night at the Hollywood Bowl” on August 1, 1958. Walt dons the famous headgear as he addresses the audience. Check out the smarmy look on the face of the man to his right. I love it!

Walt speaks to Disney fans at the Hollywood Bowl

That’s all for now. But just in case you missed my post (odds are you did) on a WDAC event I did with Fess Parker (who appeared in full color), click HERE.

All images, of course, are copyright The Walt Disney Company, with all rights reserved.

craig hodgkins

~ by Craig Hodgkins on April 21, 2008.

10 Responses to “Disney: Some Davy Crockett Photos”

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  2. Love, love, love these photos!

  3. I’m just watching the Disney DVD of the Davy Crockett movie double-feature. As I go through the battle scene of Davy vs. Chief Red Stick, I have to say it looks like the scene (and the photos that you’ve posted above) were filmed on location, not at Disneyland. If you have the DVD, freeze it on the shot of Red Stick at 26:44. The hill behind the river is far away and heavy with greenery. I doubt if Disneyland was that lush in 1954, when ‘Davy’ was filmed. Most likely, the scene was shot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In any case, thanks for posting the photos.

  4. You’re right Steve. The Davy Crockett episodes were filmed mostly on location (in Tennessee and other places), but the promotional photos above were shot in scenic Anaheim.

    • Sorry Craig, but you’re wrong on that one. Here’s why:

      1. The scenery in the photo is an exact match to the part in the film where Davy stands up from behind the bushes and stops the Creek Indians from burning George. The tall “weed” behind Fess Parker (far left in the photo) is even identical.

      2. That entire fight scene was filmed on the Oconaluftee River in the Qualla Boundary area of North Carolina in 1954. This is confirmed here: http://www.smokymountainnews.com/issues/05_03/05_21_03/mtn_voices.html

      3. It is not possible that any of the individual takes or shots for that scene in the movie could have been filimed on the banks of Rivers of America in Anaheim. The original episode “Davy Crocket Indian Fighter” (from which this scene in the film is taken aired on television in December of 1954. The episode was (obviously) filmed some time prior to that date.

      4. The construction of Disneyland didn’t even start until July, 1954. There’ very unlikely that the “Rivers of America” would have been dug and filled in with water so early into the construction.

      Thus, unless weeds and trees at Rivers of America grew to an exact match of what was captured on flim in North Carolina a year earlier, the promo photos could not have been taken at Disneyland.

  5. I have a friend who knows The Great Smokies and lives in Knoxville. On a visit, he took us to the very rock Davy shot the Indian off of into the water.

  6. 19JAN2010. Just talked to Fess on the phone. He and Marcella have been married 50 years today! Fess became my hero back in 1956 when the Crockett-craze hit Sweden. It left me permanently “crazy.” Am as busy with my collection, and collecting, today as I was back in ’56. Fess is a wonderful person, laid-back, low-keyed, funny and very friendly. Been to visit with him twice at his lovely home. Fess is the greatest!!!

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