6.8/10
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8 user 4 critic

John Henry (2000)

G | | Animation, Short, Drama
Disney's retelling of the legend of John Henry, the steel-driving man.

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(screenplay), (story supervisor) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Polly / Narrator (voice)
Geoffrey Jones ...
John Henry (voice)
...
MacTavish (voice)
Dave Murray ...
Thomas (voice)
Carrie Harrington ...
Singing Voice of Polly (voice)
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Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

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G
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Also Known As:

Джон Генри  »

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(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in American Legends (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely Film With a Touch of African American Flavor
18 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

This is another amazing animation from Disney. The unfinished look the cartoon has is very appealing, and the character design is very Disney. John Henry is a man who was once a slave, until the Emancipation Proclamation freed him and his love, who immediately get married. They go to strike it out and John Henry famously works on the railroad to get his wife and himself some land so they can be independent.

The short is fairly emotional and tackles some heavier themes for Disney (slavery, death), but does it nicely, in such a way that I could see young children be able to watch it without a qualm from parents. The music is very flavorful, being in the style of black gospel singers or backup singers. I could listen to this music for a while and not get tired of it. It's nice and fun for the kiddies to see, with some good messages about determination.


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