10 Things About 'Old Yeller' You Didn't Already Know

Old Yeller Is A Disney Classic

Who among us doesn’t remember shedding at least a tear or two when they saw “Old Yeller” for the first time? Well, at least those of us old enough to remember, that is. Even though the movie had been out for quite some time when I was growing up, it had a profound impact on me. I cried buckets and so did my little brother when that poor boy lost his dog to rabies.

10 Things You Didn’t Know

If you haven’t seen this classic movie, it is a simple tale about a boy and his dog living in the pioneer days of America. In it, the boy and his dog are best friends, and they go on many adventures together. In the end, the dog gets rabies and has to be put down by the boy’s father.

Honestly, I can’t think of another movie that elicits the same devastation as “Old Yeller” did. Many people in the older generation still tear up when they think about the film, myself included.

Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the movie. I know I sure didn’t.

Here We Go!

10. The dog they used to play Old Yeller wasn’t a mongrel. 

In the movie, they used a Golden Lab to play the part of Old Yeller. In the book, it said that dog was a black-mouthed cur, which is sort of like a Yellow Lab, except not as bulky.

9. “Old Yeller” was actually filmed in California.

It isn’t unusual at all for a movie to film in a place other than where it is supposed to take place. “Old Yeller” took place in Texas. However, for the film, they just found locations that resembled Texas.

8. Old Yeller was actually named Spike.

The dog that played Old Yeller was really named Spike. On top of doing this movie, Spike also appeared alongside Maria English in a movie called She-Creature.

7. “Old Yeller” was a double feature in a lot of theaters.

To garner more attention for the film, producers started to show it as a double feature in 21 area theaters, and it worked!

6. Only two of the actors from the film remain alive today.

Bear in mind, that they made this movie in the 50s, so any actor would have had to be very young to remain alive today.

5. “Old Yeller” was the Disney debut of actors Tommy Kirkland and Kevin Corcoran.

These two actors did not only appear in “Old Yeller,” either. They later went on to appear in The Swiss Family Robinson and The Shaggy Dog as well as a few others throughout their careers.

4. The “wolf” was really a German Shepherd with some clever make-up.

Both dogs were taught how to play-fight to achieve the scariest results. Don’t worry; both dogs were muzzled during those interactions to avoid any accidental nips.

3. You can hear Old Yeller Growl if you listen closely during Lady and the Tramp.

Well, it’s the same growling noise, anyway. It is not unusual for movie houses to use sounds in more than one movie. You can hear the same Old Yeller Grown in both of those classic films.

2. Old Yeller’s death had a profound impact on many people.

I mentioned previously that this film impacted my brother and myself on an intense level. We are not alone. The shooting of Old Yeller was one of the most traumatic events of our young lives. It takes the cake, really, even beating out the death of Bambi’s mom and Charlotte from Charlotte’s web as the most traumatic. For me, anyway, I know that holds true.

1. In an episode of “Friends,” the character Pheobe claims to have never seen the scene where Old Yeller gets shot.

In the slightly more modern television show named “Friends,”  a character named Pheobe had to learn that she never saw the true ending of the movie. She was forced to revisit it as an adult and lost some of her innocence in the process.

And there you have it. You know ten new things about this classic movie. Now you can win that next round of trivia and impress your friends.

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