Disneyland: Davy Crockett at the Alamo (1955)

Run Time - 60 min.  |  
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The jewel in the crown of the TV anthology Disneyland's first season was the phenominally successful three-part miniseries Davy Crockett, an entertaining mixture of fact and legend surrounding fabled frontiersman Davy Crockett (Fess Parker). All three episodes were originally introduced with series host-producer Walt Disney reading a chapter from Davy Crockett's Journal, whereupon a series of semi-animated tableaux faded into the live-action portion of the program. In the third and final episode, Davy and his pal Georgie Russell (Buddy Ebsen) team up with a crooked but lovable gambler named Thimblerig (Hans Conried) and head off to Texas, there to join the Army in its battle for independence against Mexican general Santa Ana. Effectively assuming command of the Alamo from an incapacitated Jim Bowie (Kenneth Tobey), Davy realizes he is fighting a lost cause, but manages to rally the remaining troops for one last courageous stand against the Mexicans. If Davy's ultimate demise seems to be "fudged", it was because Walt Disney had tumbled into a merchandising bonanza with the Davy Crockett miniseries, and was reluctant to show the New American Hero being shot to death. In 1955, the three Emmy-winning Davy Crockett episodes were re-edited and released as the theatrical feature Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.