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The Legend of Johnny Appleseed (1948)

Johnny Appleseed (original title)
A retelling of the life of the legendary American itinerant apple tree planter.

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Cast

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Storyline

Dennis Day tells the story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), narrated by The Old Settler. He's an apple farmer who sees people going west and thinks he can't join them, until an angel appears to him and sings the virtues of apples, convincing Johnny he has a mission. He sets off without a knife or gun; at first, the animals mistrust him, but when he even treats a skunk kindly, they all take to him. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Details

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Release Date:

27 May 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Presenting Dennis Day Portraying the Characters of the Old Settler, Johnny Appleseed and Johnny's Angel  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Johnny was a member of the Swedenborgian faith, so he could not use techniques like grafting to improve his apples, and had to grow them from the seeds; hence, they were useless as food due to the small size and bitter taste and could only be used for making cider. They could never have been used for making pies as the apple song claims. The cider was actually far more nutritious and safe to drink than the water available in the areas Johnny visited, so by selling the people there his apple seeds, Johnny actually saved hundreds of lives. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Alec Baldwin (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lord Is Good to Me
Written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent
Performed by Dennis Day
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User Reviews

 
Worth seeing once.
2 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is the third short that was used to make up the full-length film from Disney, "Melody Time". Following WWII, Disney Studio was a mess--a terrible strike and the war (where many of the workers were drafted and many more were assigned to wartime animation work) decimated the studio and many of the old animators were gone. As a result, Disney did not get back to making traditional animated feature films for several years. In the meantime, their 'full-length' films were really odd compilations of shorts--and of a rather lackluster quality compared to earlier and later work. Films like "Saludos Amigos", "Make Mine Music" and this film were the norm for this brief post-war period.

"Johnny Appleseed" is a short that is sung and voiced by Dennis Day of "The Jack Benny Program" fame. He was the guy who sang and played the dim-witted guy on this long-running radio and TV series. As far as the animation quality goes, it's of the super-simply animated post-war style that was becoming more common due to its low cost to produce. For example, the backgrounds are VERY simple and splashy and little details (such as Johnny's toe and fingernails) are missing. The word for all this is 'economy' and fortunately, by the late 40s and into the 50s, Disney's animation improved considerably.

As for the story, it's a rather cute retelling of the story of this strange pioneer. The animals helped make the story more interesting, though this is not one the kids will beg to see again, believe me. Oddly, the basic story is based on a real individual (John Chapman--a missionary, animal lover and man of somewhat questionable sanity).

Worth seeing...once.


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