Poster

Pecos Bill

From "Melody Time"

Release Date : May 27, 1948

Synopsis

The story of the hero of Texas and the biggest, bestest cowboy there ever was, and the way he was brought down to earth by a woman.

Characters

Pecos Bill
Sluefoot Sue
Widowmaker

Credits

Director
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Animation
Ward Kimball
Milt Kahl
John Sibley
Marvin Woodward
Cliff Nordberg
Ken O'Brien
Backgrounds
Claude Coats
Merle T. Cox
Brice Mack
Effects Animation
John Meador
Edwin Aardal
Layout
Hugh Hennesy
Lance Nolley
Music
Paul J. Smith
Voices
Roy Rogers
The Sons of the Pioneers

Cut Scenes

A scene where Bill is seen taming a tornado and lighting up a cigarette has been cut. Also, any scene with Bill smoking has been digitally altered to remove his cigarette.

Video

United States
Melody Time
Melody Time
American Heroes
Germany
Melodie Tanz Rhythmus
Donalds Hitparade
Italy
Da Disney con Amore
Lo Scrigno Delle Sette Perle
Paperino nel Far West

Laserdiscs

Japan
Melody Time

DVD

United States
Melody Time
Germany
Musik, Tanz und Rhythmus
France
Melodie Cocktail
Italy
Lo Scrigno delle Sette Perle
Sweden
Melody Time
United Kingdom
Melody Time

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

  • Released as part of the Disney feature "Meldoy Time"

From Hal Wilkins : I smoked for forty years and I never remember this movie having any influence on my decision to start. In fact when I started smoking the movie, Pecos Bill, was the farthest thing from my conscious or sub-conscious mind. I have more feelings about this subject and many others that have been forced upon us; but there is nothing we can do about them now. We should have gathered our resources when we had the opportunity and put a stop to peoples stupidity and shortmindedness.It takes all kinds. I quit smoking five years ago and it wasn't because a bunch of radical idiots caused a wonderful and enlightening animated short to be ruined.
From Baruch Weiss : I have never seen the uncensored version of this short and I wish I had.
From Keith Thrash : A charming and memorable blend of animation (Pecos Bill's story) and live-action (Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers singing around the campfire opens and closes the film). A beautiful and moving opening sequence accompanies the song, "Blue Shadows on the Trail", and at the end we all know why coyotes howl at the moon. I rate it a 9, only because it is not quite as inventive as Disney at his best.
From Sherry Oliver : I was 12 years old when I saw Pecos Bill at the theater. It has been in my favorite memories ever since. I must have seen it more than once, because I remembered all the words to the song. My heart is broken to think someone "fixed it". In '48 there were smokers everywhere, and I don't remember the film encouraged anyone to smoke any more than it made us want to take "a stick and dig the Rio Grande". It was simply a delightful film, with a tough little character that amused you with his antics. Wonder why they haven't taken out the part about him shaking the Indians out of their makeup?
From Charles Hill : I saw this when it was new in the theaters and I was five years old. And several times on Disney as the years passed. I never saw it with the tornado cut though and even the thought of that inhuman cutting sets me on edge. The pea-brain that did that should be taken to Texas, his sins read, and turned loose for the people to deal with. What next? Edit Bogy so he looses the ciggies?

I still have the RCA story record set with the text and the Disney drawings. I have it and a few other story sets still, but Pecos Bill will be mine as long as I live. The first "movie" that I remember that made me cry.


From Bill Andrew : At the time I was born, RKO Pictures was the distributor for Walt Disney's films; this was before he created Buena Vista Pictures and his own distribution chain. In the late '40's and early '50's, 16mm prints of major films were available for use by schools and non-profit institutions. My father brought home these versions and showed them to us and neighbors. I saw "Pinocchio", "Melody Time", "Make Mine Music", "Peter Pan", and many others sitting cross-legged on the floor my parent's living room.

"Pecos Bill" has always been a favorite of mine strictly because of the music. Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers opened the segment in live action, around a campfire. Roy eases into Pecos' story when he discovers there might be some in the campfire group who don't know his legend. Each member of the Pioneers has a line of dialogue or two before they launch into the animated tale. There's nothing deep or subliminal about "Pecos," just a good old fashioned yarn.

The only part about the segment that didn't make any sense to me as a little kid was when "Sluefoot Sue" comes into Bill's life. I thought it was amusing that Widowmaker got rid of the woman in Bill's life so uniquely.


From Lee Anna : Too bad it is so hard to find the old favorites of animated shorts. Even sadder is learning the censorship and the editing that was done to butcher these stories.
From Nancy : I am now almost 69 years of age and of all the movies I have seen this short has stayed with me through all of these years. Of course, I have always loved (and still do) Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers so I sure that is a big part of it. There has never been a better group no matter what the song. I still can recall most of the words to the two songs but am glad you printed them so we can all brush up on them. I am sure some today would say that this is silly and time to forget it and put it in its place, however, the good memories it brings are always worth it! Thanks!
From Troy Lomelin : I remember seeing Pecos Bill in elementary school during an assembly in the gym. (Now to date myself, this would have been the early 80's). They also showed Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. Not sure how they were shown but I think they were on a projector and all in one continuous movie. I just watched "American Legends" on DVD and lo and behold, no Pecos Bill. Apparently someone thought it was un-PC, so it's been replaced with a new cartoon about a freed slave named John Henry. The new cartoon is a good story, but the animation looks half finished. I miss Pecos Bill and would love to see the original version. Of those three mentioned, that's the one that I enjoyed the most and have the strongest memories of. It seems the Disney empire would like to forget it ever existed.
From Mike Newton : "Blue Shadows on the Trail" has always been one of my favorite western songs ever since I saw Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers do it. Even without seeing the movie, the lyrics themselves recreate the beauty of the western prairie at sunset. Although it wasn't, it sounds like something that Bob Nolan (leader of the Pioneers) would have written.
From Brenda Gilmore : I learned all about Pecos Bill in elementary school in Texas. The film was shown on the Walt Disney Show on television. I was so disappointed when I moved from Texas to Kansas and no longer heard this story. That was allright though; as Walt Disney had the story of Windwagon Smith instead. But I still miss Pecos and am looking forward to telling the story to my grandsons!
From Carolyn Dantzler : I have several of the Disney juvinile record albums form the 40 to 50's time period that my sisters and I enjoyed over and over. Glad I found them so we can again enjoy them together.

Referenced Comments