Disney Parks & Movies Connection: Follow Me Boys

The last film that Walt Disney lived to see through its completion was Follow Me Boys, a live-action film that tells a love story that centers on a man who settles down in a small town and forms a Boy Scout troop. Just as the world lost Walt Disney 50 years ago this year, Follow Me Boys, in turn, celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Although the film is largely forgotten except among dedicated Disney fans, it is significant in Disney history for its characterization of Walt Disney's brand of storytelling.

Follow Me Boys Was The Last Film Walt CompletedFollow Me Boys Was The Last Film Walt Completed

The film stars Fred MacMurray, which is of particular significance because MacMurray was one of Walt's go-to actors throughout the 1950's and 60's as the father figure for his family films. MacMurray also played the lead in The Happiest Millionaire, which was in production at the time of Walt's death and is the last live action film that Walt personally worked on. In other noteworthy casting, Follow Me Boys was also the last film for 80-year-old Charles Ruggles, who readers may more readily recognize as Grandpa Charles from the 1961 film, The Parent Trap.

Fred MacMurray Star On The Hollywood Walk Of FameFred MacMurray Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Follow Me Boys is one of the films in the Disney catalog that lends itself perfectly to one particular land in the Magic Kingdom, and this film is most at home on Main Street, USA. In the opening scene of the film, Lem Siddons (MacMurray) decides to give up life in a traveling band and settle down in the little town of Hickory, which we can assume was modeled after Marceline, MO. He takes a job in the local general store and starts a Boy Scout troop to impress his love interest, a beautiful bank employee named Vida. Siddons has ambitions of becoming a lawyer, but becomes so entrenched in his role of scout leader that he never accomplishes his "dream". However, the grateful generations of children, including his own adopted son, make his sacrifice worthwhile. It's a romanticized story that has happened in small towns all over America.

Catch The Train to Siddons CityCatch The Train to Siddons City

Because of the relevance of this film to Main St. USA in the Magic Kingdom, it's only fitting that one of the only notable references to this classic is at the Main St. Train Station. The next time you are in the park, check the Train Bulletin and you'll notice that there is a train arriving from Hickory and departing for Siddons City. You may also catch references here to Pollyanna, Bullwhip Griffin, Imagineer Ward Kimball, and MacMurray contributions The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber.

A big thanks goes out to Guest Author Holly L. for sharing a little bit of her knowledge of Disney History with us. If you'd like to read more about Holly's Disney Adventures, you can find her sharing on our member forum.

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