In this George Pal Puppetoon (production number U5-6), John Henry (voice of Rex Ingram), legendary figure of American folklore, goes to work for the C.& O. Railroad, which, shortly ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Narrator / John Henry (voice)
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Storyline

In this George Pal Puppetoon (production number U5-6), John Henry (voice of Rex Ingram), legendary figure of American folklore, goes to work for the C.& O. Railroad, which, shortly thereafter, buys an automatic steel-driving engine, called the Inky-Poo. John Henry matches his strength against the Inky-Poo, saying that any man can beat a machine because a man has a mind. John Henry wins, but drops at the finish, never to rise again. The choral music background is by the Luvenia Nash Singers. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Animation | Short

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6 September 1946 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

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(Technicolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At George Pal's insistence, all the singers and voice-over artists were African-American. See more »

Quotes

John Henry: Stop fussing at me, woman! I can't stand a fussy woman!
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Connections

Featured in The Emperor's Nightingale (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing apology
24 October 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I'm a huge fan of Pal's Puppetoons - they remain some of the most outstanding examples of animated films ever made. But this later work appears to have been done mainly to make amends for Pal's series of "Jasper" films, which feature such strong racial stereotypes it is impossible to show them on television today.

"John Henry," while presenting African-Americans in a more favorable light, displays little of the inventiveness and style of Pal's earlier works. Perhaps concerns about being offensive limited his artistic choices. Whatever the reason, this is not one of his better works. Check out his earlier films, made in Holland and England, for extraordinary flashes of brilliance.


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