American Legends is a home video that was released February 12, 2001. The compilation is narrated by James Earl Jones and features the following Walt Disney feature animated shorts:



James Earl Jones (voice of Mufasa from The Lion King and Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise) talks to the audience about popular tales from American folklore of how the world was changed through the tales of American heroes.

John Henry

Main article: John Henry

The film begins with the story of John Henry, an African-American hero of the Allegheny Mountains in 1872. After being a freed slave, John had enormous strength where his legend grew that he changed the world by helping the railroad industry using a hammer. Over the years, John's legacy grew in front of people who respected his memory and legacy,

Johnny Appleseed

Main article: The Legend of Johnny Appleseed

This story tells the tale of John Chapman, a hero who helped feed hungry pioneers by growing a large apple orchard across the Great Unknown.

Paul Bunyan

Main article: Paul Bunyan

This story is about Paul Bunyan, a man with superhuman strength who changed the world with his gentleness, his pet ox Babe with all his hard work across North America.

The Brave Engineer

Main article: The Brave Engineer

This story is about John Luther Jones, also known as Casey Jones, a train engineer who changed the world where his legacy lived on through modern advances nowadays such as the bullet train and email since the late 1800s dating back to the evolution of railroads


James Earl Jones talks to the viewers about if they were any of the heroes seen in the film, to which he tells them to use their imagination if they were the heroes in the story, telling them that they are what the legend is made of.

Bonus Features

  • Walt Disney Television Introduction to Johnny Appleseed
  • American Legends: A Learning Adventure Game


  • The film's new short, John Henry, was later included in the 2015 compilation album, Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection on August 18, 2015.
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