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John Henry (2000)

G  |   |  Short, Animation, Musical
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 166 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

Disney's retelling of the legend of John Henry, the steel-driving man.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Polly / Narrator (voice)
Geoffrey Jones ...
John Henry (voice)
MacTavish (voice)
Dave Murray ...
Thomas (voice)
Carrie Harrington ...
Polly - Singing (voice)


John Henry, a freed slave, happens across a railroad building project. An entire crew of freed slaves has been promised land if they can finish by deadline, but they're exhausted and unable to continue. John, though, has the strength of ten men, and revitalizes all of them. But despair sets in again when the railroad sends a steam hammer to replace the crew and burns the contract. John proposes a challenge: man against machine. After a heroic effort, including a tunnel through solid rock by swinging two hammers at once, John wins, but he also collapses in his wife Polly's arms. She's recounting this whole story to their young son, to explain why his father was so great. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






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Did You Know?


The director, Mark Henn, is a collector of antique firearms. The pistol in the film used to start the race is based on one of his own Civil War era pistols. See more »


Version of The Legend of John Henry (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

A great Disney short in the classic tradition.
8 December 2003 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

I read about this film being made and that it would be released to theaters to play in front of Disney films released during the year. Well I never did see it and had forgotten about it when I saw that it would be included on a special DVD with several of the other Disney Tall Tale classics, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and Casey Jones.

John Henry is an excellent short and it deserves a much higher rating. As mentioned the animation is made to look unfinished and rough. This only adds to the charm of the film. The music is also outstanding and the story is touching. I hope more people will check out John Henry as well as the other shorts on the DVD.

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