(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)

It may be hard to wrap your head around, but there was once a time when the Walt Disney Company wasn’t solely dedicated to building out franchises. They were, from a cold and calculated point of view, always dedicated to intellectual property. The animation studio upon which the corporation is built began its feature-filmmaking life by adapting iconic fairy tales that had been legendary for countless years. How those films were brought to life was often stunningly original, even if the source material wasn’t. The success of those films, of course, led to the creation of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in the summer of 1955, an undertaking that was coupled with the premiere of the Walt Disney anthology TV series mere weeks before.

Before there was Disneyland, then, there was the Disneyland TV series. Before you could walk through Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland in real life, you could watch episodes of the TV series themed to those areas. In the year 2020, it may be hard to fully reckon with exactly how popular one set of those episodes were 65 years ago. But such was the case for three Frontierland-themed episodes from the show’s first season, all focusing on the historical figure Davy Crockett.

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