If your childhood was anything like mine, then you spent a good deal of your allotted television time watching VHS of Walt Disney Home Videos. You know, the white plastic-cased movies sporting Sorcerer Mickey on the cover. My absolute favorite of these VHS tapes, the one I had memorized the spot of in the video rental store, was Yellowstone Cubs.
The feature followed around two bear cubs, Tuffy and Tubby, who had become separated from their mother, Necomas, after a family decides to feed the family of bears against the park’s warnings. Throughout the tale the cubs provide the comic relief, in the form of crashes, smorgasbord feedings and even a runaway motorboat. Meanwhile, the mama bear tugs on your heartstrings during her journey to find her cubs, a quest that leads her across the park and even labels her a dangerous bear. The feature also sought to inform viewers not just about the habits of bears, but also about the natural wonder that is Yellowstone. In the end, the family is reunited at Old Faithful Inn and sent on about their business.
In the incarnation of the video I watched so often, it was a double feature with the 1961 Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color segment, Flash the Teenage Otter. Flash is great in its own rights, but in my heart, it’s no Yellowstone Cubs. But the double feature concept was not new to the Yellowstone Cubs. Due to its short length, only 48 minutes, the film was paired up with Savage Sam for their June 1, 1963 debut.
Aside from the antics of the bears themselves, the narrator was one of the more memorable elements of Yellowstone Cubs. In all likelihood, that voice narrated a great deal of all of our childhoods, as it was none other than Rex Allen. Aside from narrating a selection of Walt Disney wildlife documentaries and films, he also narrated the Shaggy D.A. and Charlotte’s Web. He was well known as a singing cowboy, which came in handy for Yellowstone Cubs’ Easy Living, and often played a cowboy who may not have shared his profession, but definitely shared his name.
I hope you enjoyed wandering down the trail and reminiscing with me today, and I hope these photographs of Tubby sucking down a bottle, Necomas rummaging through a trailer, and Tuffy and Tubby stuffing themselves in the kitchen of Old Faithful Inn brought back some memories for you.