101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Davy Crockett is one of Walt Disney's most endeared and remembered live action characters. He was presented to American audiences by Walt Disney on the Disneyland TV Show in 1954. He was personified by Fess Parker beloved ever after by his sincere portrayal. This colorful and entertaining character was first seen in three episodes from the TV show ("Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter," "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress" and "Davy Crockett at the Alamo"). Parker, with his coonskin cap and homespun drawl and witticism created a nationwide phenomenon in 1954. Who can forget "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett" composed by George Bruns and Tom Blackburn. Buddy Ebsen played his sidekick George Russel, whose adventures take them from Tennessee to Washington, D.C. to the Alamo in the first three episodes. The series' third episode focusing on the defense of the Alamo, though well remembered, is somewhat labored until we see the final image of Davy Crockett passing into legend and glory. This straightforward and beautifully photographed series expounds the virtues of honesty, integrity and bravery. The country could not get enough of Davy so he and George Russel returned in 1955 for two more episodes ("Davy Crockett's Keel Boat Race" and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates"). For Davy Crockett's second season on television the show was retitled "The Legends of Davy Crockett." The necessary title change came about because we had seen Davy come to his end defending the Alamo and Walt Disney wanted to continue bringing us his adventures. "Davy Crockett's Keel Boat Race" is about a riverboat race between Davy and another American folklore hero Mike Fink. "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" is about Davy's attempt to stop an Indian uprising with Mike Fink's assistance. In some ways these two episodes are the best. Davy Crockett appears less the frontier fighter and more the good-natured peacemaker in these episodes. The riverboat race with Mike Fink is very entertaining and a high point in Disney's American frontier live action adventures. I don't even think John Ford could have filmed this sequence any better. Kenneth Tobey, who worked with John Ford, is excellent in a great comedic part (Fess Parker made note of Tobey's performance in a supplemental interview on the DVD). Walt Disney gave this actor a chance to demonstrate his great versatility and range as an actor. Also, Mike Fink's boats may look a little familiar since they are the basis for the riverboat ride at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. That's a nice nostalgic tie in! Bert Glennon's cinematography is beautifully picturesque as ever and is matched seamlessly with some very effective glass shot special effects by Peter Ellenshaw. This is one of the best DVDs to come from the Disney vaults. Walt Disney introduces each of the five episodes exactly as they were originally presented on the Disneyland TV Show. The Supplemental Features on this DVD are above and beyond what I had expected. Most of Disney's DVD extras seem to concentrate on the technical aspects of the feature presentation. This DVD focused more on the phenomenon that the legend of Davy Crockett created and the affect it had and continues to have on those who were brought up in those times. There are two exceptional Features: "A Conversation with Fess Parker" and "The Davy Crockett Craze." "The Gallery" of photos and memorabilia is also excellent. "A Conversation with Fess Parker" really hit home with me. Fess Parker appeared to be the genuine article that he was. In a world of eroded morals filled with dirt and filth everywhere you turn it was more than comforting to hear Fess Parker's fond recollections of his portrayal and the ideals that Walt immortalized through the tales of this legendary character. If your eyes feel a little watery its because your remembering a time not so long ago when our heroes were real heroes. This is one of the best and should help keep the legend alive for those that lived it, those that loved it and for those that will someday be touched by it.
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
I have a confession to make. Even with as big a Disney fan as I am, I had never seen any of the Davy Crockett movies before this came out. I'd seen pictures and heard stories of the Crockett craze, but had no idea what these movies were really all about.
This set of DVD's contains all five of the Davy Crockett episodes from the TV show Disneyland as they originally aired. This includes the opening show animation, Walt's intros and outros, and promos for next week's episode. They are presented here unedited and in their original order. Leonard Maltin introduces each episode and hosts the interviews on the second disc. Of those, the one about the Davy Crockett craze is ok, but hearing Fess Parker's memories is interesting, especially to a Disney fan like me. The picture and sound quality is great for something from the 50's, although I did notice that the picture does go to black and white once per episode.
Watching these for the first time over the weekend, I was captivated by the movies. The scenery is beautiful and the acting is good. There are a couple spots where a couple stories seem to drag, but they never last long. My favorites are the two on the second disc, particularly the keel boat race. Still, I plan to rewatch all the episodes on these DVDs many more times.
Any Disney fan will be pleased to have these in their collection. They are a fun trip to yesteryear for every generation to enjoy.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2002
When Davy Crockett was televised my parents and we three kids were not able to watch it on TV. Our Burbank, CA home in the Verdugo Hills overlooked Burbank, and had a wonderful view of all the San Fernando Valley and part of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we had the Verdugo Hills between us and Mt. Wilson where all the TV transmitters were located. Fortunately, my dad was Tom W. Blackburn, writer of all the Davy Crockett TV screen plays and author of all the songs; George Bruns wrote the music. Eventually, my dad was able to borrow a copy of the 16mm film used by TV stations to boadcast the five Crockett Disneyland shows. Thus, in black and white, complete with all the commercials, in this pre-color era, we saw the full series. (One of the sponsors was Nash Automobile Company.) Even though everything was broadcast in black and white, the series was photographed in color with an eye to the future. Since then certain episodes were released on video tape, but as far as I know the whole set was never issued. Now we all have a remarkable opportunity to own them all on DVD. Be sure to understand that while the original show was b/w, all were shot in color and not colorized as another reviewer supposed.
It would be wonderful if Disney would also release on DVD or tape other Disney shows my father wrote. "Johnny Tremaine" was a wonderful show in which Johnny was an apprentice to Paul Revere. Another is "Andy Burnett, Mountain Man." I thought both series to be as good as Davy Crockett.
... I believe all are now out of print.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Regarding the review, below, written by "crazysunseteacher", this complete TV series DVD set is nothing at all like the two theatrical film releases. It contains the full, uncut original television episodes, as they were originally broadcast on "Disneyland" in the 1950s. These five TV programs included considerably more footage than the theatrical film releases.
The theatrical film releases have been available previously on VHS (and now on DVD) and anyone who bothered to watch them and compare them to the TV series DVD set would know immediately that there is considerable additional footage in the TV series, as released on this grand DVD set. There are even different musical cues in "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" in the film version that were specially written to accompany new film transitions. For starters, the very beginning of the film version omits the scene at Crockett's cabin with his family. How could you miss that if you watched the two versions at all?
The reviewer in question clearly did not bother to watch and compare carefully the two versions before posting the review. Please do not let this uninformed, inaccurate review dissuade you from buying this DVD set.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2002
Walt Disney Treasures presents the greatest of all Disney Western Shows, the five great Davy Crockett shows. This treasure is one not to be missed at all. Why did I give it five stars? For completeness for Pete's sake. On this set, you will enjoy all five episodes of this hugely popular series. Back in 1954, Walt was looking for an American hero for his popular "Disneyland" series. He went reluctantly with Crockett and it turned out to be the greatest fad of all time! He showed a preview of the show on and original broadcast of the very first "Disneyland" program. During the series, who would be best to play Davy Crockett. Originally it was Buddy Ebsen, who played Davy's partner Georgie Russel, in the series. But who would play Davy? THe answer came when Fess Parker was cast in the film "Them." So when he went to audtition, he was chosen immediately.
Now I told you a little bit of history, I'll finish at the end of the review. Now we have to do the features:
There are three shows on the first disc. When you put in the disc, after a brief stint at the Walt Disney Treasures preview, you are in the "Walt Disney Treasure Theater." When the curtain is up you see the Crockett Curtains. When those part, our host, Leonard Maltin, will tell us what we will see. Then the curtains close and open again at the main menu. If you have deaf or hard of hearing in the audience, go to Captions and put them on now. Then go to the adventures. Here you will see the first series of the Crockett Saga. Click on the first one, Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter. Leanord Maltin will tell you about the show, then you will see the classic "Disneyland" television show intros. Then Walt will tell you what you will see. After the famous "Ballad of Davy Crockett," he opens Davy's journal for the first story, the indian war. Watch the show to see what happens. The shows end just like they originally did. The same thing happens for the other two shows. These are "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress" and "Davy Crockett at The Alamo." The introductions to the shows are Black and White, but the Crockett portions are color, mostly.
The second disc is the second series of the saga, "Crockett Legends," and Supplemental Features. When you get there, go to the captions if you need them, then go to the adventures. Here you will see the two final shows of the series. The first one opens the same way like the ones on disc one, except that for some reason, Walt's introductions are color but the end is black and white. Anyway, the shows are the same way, here are the names, "Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race" and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates." In these episodes, we have Jeff Kurti playing Mike Fink, King of the River. Then Kenneth Toby, the person who plays Jocko in this episode is the same person who played Jim Boye at the Alamo. It worked out great though. Now for the final features. The supplemental features menu features two featurettes, "The Crockett Craze" and "A Conversation With Fess Parker." There is also a gallery and an easter egg. The easter egg is the preview on the first "Disneyland" program for Davy Crockett and the gallery has photos, art, and theatrical posters and merchandise.
Here is the other half of the Crockett history:
Davy Crockett first aired in 1954 and was popular overnight. There were books, games, towels, coonskin caps, and records, toy guns, anything that you could do with Davy. Fess and Buddy were at the opening day of Disneyland which you could see on the "Disneyland USA" set. After all of this worn down, Walt created "Zorro" and the "Nine Lives of Elfego Baca." These shows were not as popular, but were fun. I enjoyed the entire series of Davy Crockett. It know you will too. So Davy Crockett is still, King of the Wild Fronteir!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Walt Disney made five television shows about Davy Crockett with Fess Parker in the title role and Buddy Ebsen as his sidekick George Russel. You can now own all five of these television shows in two versions. This version presents all five television shows as they were first presented on ABC in the mid-1950s. There is also a two-movie version that combines these five television shows into two movies. I personally prefer the Disney Treasures version. This version also includes additional material that may be interesting to a fan of the series. The gem of the additional material is the interview with Fess Parker.
The television shows in this set are diverse in style. The first three television episodes are "Davy Crockett - Indian Fighter," "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress," and "Davy Crockett at the Alamo." These television shows have some basis in historical fact, though many of the things portrayed in these shows are wrong. For example, Davy left the rifle he called "Betsy" back in Tennessee when he went to Texas.
What is amazing about these television shows is the response of Americans. Suddenly children everywhere were sporting coonskin caps and carrying replicas of muzzle-loading rifles. It became unfashionable to be a Native American, and very fashionable to say "bar" instead of bear.
Though Davy did not survive the events at the Alamo, Davy's popularity was such that Walt Disney brought Davy back in two additional television adventures, "Davy Crockett and the Keelboat Race" and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates." According to Walt Disney, this second set of adventures was based on stories created about Davy Crockett, who had become a legend in his own time. The stories were more humorous than the first three, and showed an even larger-than-life version of Davy Crockett than the first three adventures.
What is most remarkable about these television shows is how well they hold up. The story of Davy Crockett is timeless. Davy's attributes are those that form the basis of how Americans see themselves. Self-reliance, honesty, keeping your word, and being plain-spoken remain characteristics that most Americans value.
A viewer does have to forgive several things that we now regard as politically incorrect, particularly in the first part of the first movie, where Davy seems to have little regard for Native Americans. However, in later episodes Davy clearly values his friendship with Native Americans and attempts to honor the commitments the U.S. government made to them.
I allowed my children to watch these movies when they were very young. Yes, there is some violence in these movies. However, Davy and George Russel used violence only when there appeared to be no other reasonable way out. Given that the era depicted in these movies was violent, I think the movies were directed and produced well.
These movies are a great way to introduce your children to an era when the American ethic for honesty, hard work, and trust were formulated. Davy Crockett was instrumental is being an example we can all follow, perhaps now more than ever. This movie is a must for every family film library. Enjoy!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
Walt Disney Treasures Review 3 of 11
This review tells you where to find the Easter Eggs! (hidden DVD features)
The third Walt Disney Treasure of Wave 1 is Davy Crockett, the Complete Televised Series. Here, there is a showcase of the complete episodes, with Walt's intros on the set. As all of them, this set features a limited numbered tin, a lithograph of the movie poster Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, and a program booklet with the list of features and a letter from Leonard Maltin, host of the series.
On disc 1, there is an into that both discs share, then the fun begins. Each episode includes an intro by Leonard. Most of the show is in color, but there are parts where color footage could not be located.
Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter: This is the show that started it all. Basically all Davy does in this episode is fight indians, which results in piece with the Creeks at the end.
Davy Crockett Goes to Congress: Here, Davy tends to be more peaceful towards the indians. His whole amazing career begins when moving to find a cabin, buys the land, and fights Bigfoot Mason, who stole a piece of indian land. He gets elected to the state legislature and later to congress. He defends the indians in his brief stint there.
Davy Crockett at the Alamo: Walt admitted he would not kill of his hero here if he didn't know how popular he would be. This is one of the most accuracte portraits of a great moment of American history. (Unlike the crappy new Alamo Disney pumped out)
Well, that's disc one. 3 hours of fun. On disc 2, we get into a couple of legends of Davy.
Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race: The first of two films with Mike Fink, King of the River, Crockett race Fink to keep his furs he hunted for over a year that his partner, Russel, bet they could win while drunk.
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates: The indians are going to hit the warpath if they do not find out who the pirates hiding out in the cave are. Davy, along with Mike Fink, set out to kill the pirates.
EASTER EGG! On the bonus features menu, click on Davy's hat and see a clip from "The Disneyland Story" TV Show about Crockett.
The Davy Crockett Craze: Maltin is joined by Paul Anderson, auther of the book The Davy Crockett Craze, and talk about how successful and amazing the series was.
A Conversation with Fess Parker: At his winery in California, Leonard joins Fess Parker, the actor who played Davy in the series, to talk about his role in the series and the history of it.
Gallery: As with the otheres, here is a gallery of production photos and merchandise.
That is a smaller DVD and didn't take up as much space. I could tell you one thing, the quality is stunning, and the features are amazing. Now onto the final set in Wave 1.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2002
Disney outdid themselves in creating a beautiful set like this. Enclosed in a beautiful tin case, you will get four things: 2 DVD discs, a postcard size poster of the Davy Crockett Movie, "King of the Wild Frontier," and a booklet that includes a letter from Leonard. I say, begin by putting in the disc. At the very beginning, there is a preview of three other treasures, then there is an intro by Leonard Maltin. The first disc includes the life story of Davy Crockett. The first episode, aired in 1954, one of the very first Disneyland Television shows. This show is named "Davy Crockett Indian Fighter." This show is the one that started the whole craze. When Davy is a vollunteer in the army, he becomes the best one in the army. They fight indian, but before they would begin actual war, Davy convinces the Creeks to sign a peace treaty.
The second show, also in 1954, was "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress." Here, Davy Crockett leaves his family to go to Teneesee and find a new piece of land. He has a shooting match against "Big Foot Mason." When Big Foot looses against Davy and "Old Betsy," he takes over Davy's neighbor's property, who is Cherokee. He and Russel go over and fight him. Davy sends them to court. His town wants him to run for state Legislature, then they want him to run for congress. He wins, and a so-called "Friend" sends him on a tour to get the Indian Bill signed to take away indian's lands. Davy is outraged and returns to Congress to show what this is actually about.
The third and final life story of Crockett is "Davy Crockett and the Alamo." Davy goes to fight with Russel, an indian named Bustedluck, and others. When they arrive at the Alamo, they last a week before being killed. Davy gave his life for Texas in the end.
This may seem like the end of the entire series, but it is definetly not. There are two more. These two are the legends of Davy Crockett. The first one was in 1955. This show was "Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race." He has to race "King of the River Mike Fink" down the Ohio down to New Orleans. They Somehow win after fights with indians, stopping at towns, and going through dangerous shortcuts.
The final episode ever in the series was "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates." Some River Pirates are disguising themselves as injuns and attacking all boats they could get. The Chickasaw indians are ready to go to war if Davy can't solve the problem. He and Mike and his crew get ready for the pirates. A spy gets on there Keelboat, thinking there is gold in the hull. It turns out to be rock. They disguise the boat so the pirates don't know it's Mike Fink's. They attack the pirates in there cave along they found the treasures they hid. They kill the head one and the other two are knocked out by Mike.
As if this were not enough, There are bonus features, like a featurette called "The Davy Crockett Craze." Leonard Maltin talks with Paul F. Anderson about the creation of the episodes, merchandise that was for sale, how Leonard loved it as a kid, the song, and the time period.
Another featurette is called "A Conversation with Fess Parker." Leonard joins Fess at his winery in California. Here they talk about Fess' experience with the show, director Norman Foster, and on publicity tour. He talks about being at Disneyland at opening day, and amazed that he would sing and dance on live television.
Third, there is a beautiful gallery of photos of the creation of the show, merchandise, and theatrical posters for the two movies. Davy sure has a lot to know about. There is a hidden easter egg too. I'll tell you where it is. It is on Davy Crockett's Coonskin Cap on the Supplemental menu.
The shows are in superb condition. They are in color and the sound is stuninng. That is why I give it five stars, but not just for that, for the material within as well. Davy Crockett pleased a whole generation. This will bring it for generations to come!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2005
Half century ago, Walt Disney and Fess Parker struck gold with The Adventures of Davy Crockett. It was a very different time for Disney and television in general. It was a time when both parents and children could watch a prime time television show and not have to be embarrassed about anything. It was a time when things like profanity, sexual immorality, and blatant disregard for one's neighbor were unheard of on the screen. It was a time when the heroes would sometimes even do something as offensive today as quote from the Bible (which Davy Crockett occasionally does).
On a lighter note, today's generation will not readily recognize the need or desire to wear a hat made of raccoon's skin on one's head. Nor would most young people today (myself included) be familiar with a phrase like "Give 'em what fer!" For the record, this phrase refers to beating the living snot out of something or someone which has rubbed you the wrong way.
This DVD comprises part of the "Walt Disney Treasures" series. This is a series of classic Disney shows from different eras or genres and is hosted by film historian and critic Leonard Maltin. Other releases in this series include ON THE FRONT LINES (an exhaustive collection of the cartoon propaganda shorts Disney put out during World War II) and DISNEYLAND USA (which chronicles the opening of Disneyland to the public and how it evolved over the years). And there are many, many more.
Whether or not you grew up watching Davy Crockett is really beside the point. This show is for anyone who has a love for the old American pioneer stories; the Old West; and perhaps most of all, the old Disney.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2001
Humor me as I do my man thing and let the little boy inside eek out. It's all Walt Disney's fault. In 1954, Disney premiered the first of five Davy Crockett episodes on his "Disneyland" TV series.
As a seven year-old, I was among the tens of thousands of kids caught up in the wildest media frenzy of the mid-Twentieth Century. Davy Crockett, the King of the Wild Frontier, had become the king of TV and mass merchandising. Every boy, particularly, had to have his own coonskin cap. The matching buckskin pants and shirt helped, as well as the authentically licensed "Old Betsy" long rifle. And it occurred overnight, literally, that Dec. 15 evening.
Those way-back days are vividly alive in a fun and nostalgic double-DVD set just released as part of the new "Walt Disney's Treasures" series. Entitled "Davy Crockett, the Complete Televised Series," the 4 hour, 28 minute extravaganza features all five as-aired Crockett episodes with the original Walt Disney introductions and previews of next week's show. This set is a gotta-have for any baby boomer.
Before getting into specific episodes and supplementals, be advised that these Crocketts are not exactly as televised originally. In 1954 and '55, the "Disneyland" series had only black and white broadcasts, so these gorgeously restored Technicolor prints are an upgrade. Most of the introductions, however, are shown here in black and white. Interestingly, there are scattered moments during the fourth episode, the keelboat race, that switch to black and white. The existing color print of this episode is obviously a tad incomplete. It would have helped if liner notes would detail exactly what happened in this regard.
In fact, a downer about this set is that the liner notes barely tell anything about the Davy Crockett production. One has to get any inside info through movie guy Leonard Maltin, via his interviews that are included on the second disc. The other negative is that, although it is advertised on the cover that a recent interview with Buddy Ebsen is included, there is no such interview. It would have been super to hear his reminiscences about co-starring as Georgie Russell in the series.
At least the Disney people were visionary enough to film each episode in color, anticipating the soon-to-be color TV audience as well as theatrical showings. Speaking of such, the first three episodes were edited together, and released with profitable success to movie theaters as the feature film, "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier." I remember well the exasperation of my Dad when he, Mom, my sister and I watched the movie at the local drive-in. "Why," he vexed, "this is the same as we saw on TV!" Which it was, basically. We then sat back and enjoyed it in living color.
The set includes the trilogy, "Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter," "DC Goes to Congress," and "DC At the Alamo," plus "DC and the Keelboat Race" and "DC and the River Pirates." Although Fess Parker's Crockett history ended after fives shows, he wore a cookskin hat as TV's Daniel Boone, a non-Disney production, for six years thereafter. The amiable Parker, now 76, is interviewed at his vineyard and winery, located in Los Olivos, California. He has only good memories of his years at Disney, that began with the Crockett series. He recalls dressing as Davy and touring 42 cities and 13 countries for promotion in the mid-1950s. As incentive, Parker recieved 10 per cent of Crockett merchandising profits.
Author Paul Anderson ("The Davy Crockett Craze"), also interviewed, estimates that up to three thousand different Crockett items were available for sale at the time. Some choice Davy Crockett trivia is revealed on this DVD.
As Anderson muses, "Nothing anyone, including Disney, has done has come near it (the Davy Crockett popularity) before, during or since." That includes "Star Wars," "Harry Potter," and "Hopalong Cassidy."