Useful Notes: Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett was a man born in 1786, and went on to live a full life in both war and politics. He served in the Creek Indian War, then was elected to the Tennessee state legislature, and eventually to the House of Representatives. There, he opposed many of the bills by Andrew Jackson, particularly the Indian Removal Act, resulting in the end of his political career. As a result he left for Texas, where he died in the battle of the Alamo in 1836. That's more or less the Cliff Notes version of his life, and it was embedded in American popular culture. His exploits became exaggerated beyond what he did, including claims that he killed a bear at age three. The most famous interpretation of him probably came from a five-part serial on the Disneyland television program, featuring Fess Parker in the lead role, which created quite the fad when it aired. In fact, the original serial was only in three parts, the success convinced them to make the remaining two parts. The serial was rereleased as two Compilation Movies, Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. The two movies have been released on DVD, and the serial was released unedited as part of the Walt Disney Treasures line. The Disney version proved insanely popular in the early 1950s USA, with Davy Crockett merchandise greatly in demand among kids, and is arguably the first modern children's media cultural phenomenon of its type. In terms of crazes it and other westerns would only succumb to science fiction media derived from the Space Race, a fact that became a major plot point in Toy Story 2's backstory.
The Disney version contains the following tropes:
- Badass: Crockett, naturally.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Many of the speeches and sayings attributed to Crockett, including his "Not Yours To Give" speech and his claim about his father licking every man in Kentucky, are now considered apocryphal at best.
- Bears Are Bad News
- Bolivian Army Ending: Or at least that is the most popular version of the story, although there is a fair amount of witness testimony indicating that Crockett (and a few other defenders of the Alamo) were captured alive only to be murdered on the orders of the Mexican commander; Disney played with this when they revisited Crockett in 2004's The Alamo.
- Compilation Movie: As noted above.
- Cool Clear Water
- Dawn of the Wild West
- Do Not Call Me Paul: He usually preferred to be called "David".
- Defeat Means Friendship: Mike Fink becomes friends with Crockett after he beats them in a river race.
- Establishing Character Moment: Davy's is killing a bear with a knife.
- Foregone Conclusion: When you find out he's going to the Alamo, you know what's going to happen.
- Heroic Sacrifice: As history dictates.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Davy and Georgie.
- I Call It "Vera": Davy calls his gun Bessie.
- Large Ham: How Mike Fink is portrayed in the series.
- Memetic Badass: Crockett
- Mountain Man
- Nice Hat: Davy's coonskin cap, of course.
- Noble Savage: The series' portrayal of Native Americans.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Major Norton.
- The Red Stapler: Davy's Coonskin Cap.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The alligators.
- Shirtless Scene: Georgie gets one.
- Tall Tale: Davy Crockett has become accrued with legends that sometimes stray into Tall Tale territory.