Did You Know Walt Disney Made a Film About Paul Bunyan?
Paul Bunyan is one of Minnesota's most iconic pieces of folklore. The lumberjack with his giant ox can be spotted all over the state, especially in the northern region. Did you know that Walt Disney created an animated film about him in the 1950s?
Produced by Walt himself, Paul Bunyan was released in August of 1958, telling the story of the legendary icon:
Following a violent windstorm on the coast of Maine, lumberjack Cal McNab spots a giant cradle on the beach containing a giant baby boy. The town adopts and raises the boy, giving him the name Paul Bunyan.
The story then goes on to tell how the townspeople bought Paul an axe for Christmas, and he used it to clear trees to build the town. Once the trees were cleared Paul moved west to cut more trees. During his travels he finds his trusty blue ox babe frozen in a snow storm. He thaws the ox, and they wander the Midwest in the snow, and when it melts their footprints created the lakes that are in Minnesota.
The main conflict of the film is the logging contest where Paul and Babe are challenged to a competition to see who can create a taller pile of logs in a day, their classic way or new gas-powered chainsaws. At the end of the competition, Paul and Babe were beaten by just a quarter-inch of lumber, and they walk off into the sunset never to return again. But the men at the logging camp decide to record their legend and share it with future generations.
The film was released multiple times, on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Sing Me a Story with Belle, The Mouse Factory, The Ink and Paint Club, and a few others.
Being an avid Disney fan myself, I think it is so cool that this cartoon tells a Disney-fied story of how the lakes came to be in Minnesota. I had never heard that version of the story before and I'm totally going to tell it to my niece. Check out Disney's Paul Bunyan below.