August 16, 2022

Country Bear Jamboree Celebration

theme song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

One of the less popular attractions is the Country Bear Jamboree. One of the last projects Walt Disney worked on before he died originally conceived as a show for the failed Mineral King resort with designs by Marc Davis. The Country Bear Jamboree contains a vaudevillian type show where a group called the Country Bears perform in the Country Bear Hall and sing classic Country songs and is hosted by Henry the Bear. In other versions of the show the backstage bear Rufus can be heard backstage fixing the mechanical problems of the show and there is some commentary from the very much alive trophy heads Max the deer, Melvin the moose and Buff the Buffalo. The attraction was made, but for the Florida Magic Kingdom and it was brought to Anaheim one year later. The reason why I say it’s less popular is because it’s very ordinary. The revolutionary technology and charm of Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and the Tiki Room are not present in the show. I understand the Country Bears were going for an old fashioned vaudevillian style, but a lot of the jokes are outdated and are not funny. Well at least the West Coast felt that way. The show was never really popular over here in the West. The Country Bear Jamboree was removed at the quickest opportunity in 2001 and it sat there for 4 years until it was replaced with the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction. My personal feelings of the show are that the original show is outdated, not funny, boring, and the songs were not catchy or pleasant to listen to I don’t care if their hillbilly classics or not. With that being said I do find a little enjoyment from the summer and Christmas versions of the show the Vacation Hoedown and the Christmas Special. The songs were much better and recognizable and even the obscure songs were catchier.

Country Bear Christmas

The Christmas Show is a typical Christmas Show, but the songs and even their arrangements are much better than anything in the original show. Whether it’s The Sun Bonnet Trio Bunny, Bubbles and Beulah singing Sleigh Ride, Trixie’s soulful Hibernatin’ Blues, or Teddi Barra’s serene performance of the Christmas Song the show is leaps and bounds above the boring and insufferable original. The decorations are tasteful and provide a good atmosphere. Unfortunately the parks don’t do this special anymore. Maybe Tokyo, but don’t get your hopes up.

 

Vacation Hoedown

This in my opinion should be the normal show! It’s much better and sells the concept much better than the original show. The songs are more popular, catchy, the arrangements are perfectly serviceable and is the most entertaining of the Country Bears with a summer camp motif. The opening number by the 5 Bear Rugs is the Great Outdoors which was prominently featured in the Disneyland Fun Sing Along. An example of the classic vacation or summer fun type songs like On the Road Again sung by Wendell, the Elvis type Bear Liver Lips McGrowl in mountain climbing gear singing Jailhouse Rock rewritten as We Can Make it to the Top. Bunny Bubbles and Beulah sing a bear version of the Beach Boys classic California Girls (now California Bears) Teddi Barra and Henry do a delightful duet of Singin’ in the Rain and probably the best one is the 5 Bear Rugs singing Ghost Riders in the Sky! With the songs being more recognizable and catchy the energy and engagement is much stronger.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

While a very underwhelming attraction in its original form the Country Bear Jamboree did improve in its seasonal shows and had genuine moments that did entertain.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
Tiktok