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Surprisingly Realistic – Walt Disney’s Depiction of Casey Jones.

October 16, 2008

Although the ending was modified for humorous effect, you have to respect the realism that’s imbedded in this work of animation.

Of course there are plenty of tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek moments, there is an underlying extensive knoweledge of railroading patently visible to the trained observer, which is quite satisfying considering most of America thinks of a steam locomotive like this nowadays:  

the disgustingly stereotypical choochoo...eww.

Instead, the disney crew goes the extra route-mile as it were and procedes to create this gem of a short film.

Sit back and enjoy.

<img src=”” alt=”casey jones” />

First of all, notice how every detail is carefully drawn. While they don’t directly draw Casey’s famous Illinois Central 4-6-0, this well-porportioned 4-4-0 does the trick.

Notable details would include:
-The surprisingly detailed and realistic backhead on the 4-4-0 depitcted
-The Correctly colorful 1880’s era locomotive
-The Interlocking tower with the levers is a masterpiece of animation, and pretty accurate.
-The details, fixtures and domes on the 4-4-0 are all pretty well drawn and realistic.
-Notice the scene with the double-headed 4-8-0’s and take a close look at the 1900 era wooden boxcars and the details they have, from individual planks to grabirons.
-The Depots are very nicely depicted and it all together captures the railroady feel that is all too often lost in any future depictions of railroading, except for perhaps one episode of the “Angry Beavers”.

The only unfortunate detail left out is John “Casey” Luther Jones’ fireman Sim Webb, who was with Casey, but intellegently followed Casey’s direction to “join the birds” (jump off the doomed train) seconds before impact with the stopped train ahead of him.

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