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Sea Captain Windwagon Smith hits Westport, Kansas, the starting point of the old Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, and is quickly the laughing stock of the town; instead of traveling in the usual oxen-drawn covered wagon, he is at the helm and wheel of a Contestoga-type wagon with a full set of sails. He plans to go to Oregon by taking advantage of the prairie winds. First, he wins over the town mayor, falls in love with the mayor's beautiful daughter, Molly Crum, and then secures financial backing from the townspeople. He sets sail across the plains, with Molly Crum as a covered-wagon stowaway, and a Kansas twister looming on the horizon. And, then, the wind hits the sails. And the fan, too, if he had had one. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The fanciful plans of a Yankee sea captain to sail the Kansas prairie in a highly modified Conestoga wagon are related in THE SAGA OF WINDWAGON SMITH.
This is an enjoyable little film, which makes good use of the limited animation format. Rex Allen is a fine choice as both narrator and the voice of Smith. The Sons Of The Pioneers back him up with their own special singing talents.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
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