Disney's American Legends

Disney's American Legends is a 2001 direct-to-video animated anthology film hosted by James Earl Jones. It is a compilation of four previously released animated musical shorts from Walt Disney Animation Studios based on American tall tales. The film features The Brave Engineer (1950), Paul Bunyan (1958), John Henry (2000), and The Legend of Johnny Appleseed which is a segment from the 1948 film Melody Time.

Disney's American Legends
Disney American Legends.jpg
Home video release cover
Directed byLara Shapiro
Produced byRichard Kaylor
Written byShirley Pierce
StarringAlfre Woodard
Geoffrey Jones
Tim Hodge
Thurl Ravenscroft
Dal McKennon
Dennis Day
Jerry Colonna
Ken Darby
Narrated byJames Earl Jones
CinematographySergio Rodregez
Edited byLeland Gray
Adrian McKetch
Distributed byWalt Disney Home Entertainment
Release date
  • February 12, 2001 (2001-02-12)
Running time
58 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film's new short is based on John Henry and stars Alfre Woodard and Tim Hodge. John Henry was later released on Blu-ray in Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection on August 18, 2015.[1]


John Henry (2000)Edit

Retells the story of John Henry, who raced against a steam drill.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed (1948)Edit

Based on the story of Johnny Appleseed (voiced by Dennis Day), a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to Ohio and Indiana. The short was originally featured in the 1948 film Melody Time.

Paul Bunyan (1958)Edit

Based on the story of Paul Bunyan (voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft), a folklore giant lumberjack, and his blue-colored ox, Babe.

The Brave Engineer (1950)Edit

Based on the exploits of railroad engineer Casey Jones.


Mike Pinsky, of DVD Verdict, reviewed the compilation saying, "If, as James Earl Jones says in the finale, the message of this film is to "look for the heroes around you and celebrate them," Disney's American Legends is an interesting, if half-hearted, attempt to carry out that advice."[3] Kirby C. Holt, Toon Talk, reviewed the compilation saying, "Although the program definitely presents the shorts in descending order of quality, it ends on a high note with these inspirational words from James Earl Jones: "Look for the heroes around you and celebrate them ... you can find them in the past, in the present, even in the mirror."[4]


  1. ^ Doty, Meriah (June 4, 2015). "'Frozen Fever' (and Easter Eggs!) Coming Soon on Disney Shorts Blu-ray (Exclusive)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Drees, Rich. "Disney Closes Florida Animation Studio". filmbuffonline.com. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  3. ^ DVD Verdict
  4. ^ Toon Talk

External linksEdit