(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier)
The Wellingtons: Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear.
Doug (vo): Who doesn't know the name Davy Crockett? One of the most famous frontiersmen of all time. Back when Disney was pretty much king of the world, they released a show called Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier. And after the show wrapped up, they decided to put a lot of the episodes together into one big compilation being this movie. So...yeah, this is a bit of a cheat, but at the same time, I think it works okay as a film, so I think it's worth talking about. And besides, Davy Crockett has definitely played a large part in Disney's identity, so, I think we gotta talk about it.
Doug (vo): The film, like I said, is a condensed version of all the episodes, so they definitely had to cut a lot of things out. This is funny, seeing how the show was already a very romanticized version of a real historical character. So the movie sort of serves as a "best of the show", but it still comes off pretty effective seeing how they know just how much character to keep in there and just how many plot points to keep in there, so it never feels rushed or out of place. It's just following his journeys of Davy, his partner Russell, finding adventures to partake in, helping peace out ties with the Native Americans and the white man, killing wildlife, and occasionally even seen the missus and his kids. Yeah, he does that, what, once in the movie? Ah, the forties, when family for a man was more of a "side project".
Doug (vo): With that said, they don't always shy away from the hard truths. For example, the last episode and the last part of the movie is the Alamo, and...well, they lose, as you know happens in history, and they don't shy away from that. But again, it's very romanticised. Everything is played up almost more like a legend than it is actual history. Even the guy who plays Davy, Fess Parker. Just look at him with the squinty eyes, chiseled jaw, good looks, very laid-back voice, I mean, this guy's practically a frontiersman Jesus. And I think that's the attitude you have to have going into this: that it is romanticised, it is played up, it is having fun more with the legend aspect than the historical aspect. Hell, there's actually a scene where he's talking about grinning down a bear. Yeah, that's right, taking down a bear by just grinning at it.
Davy: There's nothin' so absotutely unresistible as an ol' fashioned good-natured grin. Like this. (grins) I figured the same thing 'oughta work on bears, but I never got a chance to find out.
Doug (vo): It's pretty silly. But I think Fess Parker's performance is so laid-back and so confident that I kind of enjoy it. I can see how a lot of history buffs will look at this and kind of laugh, but, I think they make the myth that they create here just so likeable that it's hard for me not to have fun with it. Russell's a good side character, there's a lot of good friends and foes that they come across along the way, some of them stereotypes, but not as mean as you would think. It just sort of has it own strange unique charm to it. It is cheesy and a lot of it is kinda fictionalized, but at the same time, it's the kind of story you want to believe, and you have fun believing even though you know it's probably not true. It's like 300: you know it's overdone, but it's kind of enjoyable how overdone it is.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): I think that's probably a good way to figure out whether or not you'll enjoy it. If you wanna see the true story of Davy Crockett and his adventures, this probably isn't the best version to watch. But, if you wanna know about the myth, the legends, or the tales that people would tell around a campfire than you would find out of a history book, then I say this is a lot of fun. I know it's hokey, but for me, it's just an old-fashioned good time.
[Davy Crockett's journal closes as we fade to black]