How many Disney movies can you think of that open up with an exploration into the nature of money?
I can only think of one. Not quite as in depth as “Atlas Shrugged” but a curious beginning to a Disney movie. It is as if there was no better way to start the picture.
Old Yeller was not Travis' first dog.
Travis' favored first dog Bell was bit by a rattler.
Just after the Civil War Bell was bitten by the head of a rattler "Papa" had separated from its writhing body with a scythe. The favored Bell did not make it.
Was the name of the felled favored first dog an accident?
The young America’s hard fought for Liberty was symbolized by a cracked Bell.
The Civil War had killed the country's innocence causing it to mourn as Travis mourned his favored dog. Then Old Yeller burst onto to the scene calling for the love of a dog and/or liberty once again.
It is difficult not to compare Travis' dogs with America's healing and struggle for liberty.
Travis was given the chance to name the newly arrived stray.
He could have just as easily called him Ishmael.
On a basic level Old Yeller is a kid's story of adventure on the frontier.
But the author of both the book and the screenplay delved into deeper levels of concern even though very simply put.
Below is dialogue from the movie’s opening scene, to wit:
Arliss: “What’s pop gonna sell our steers for?”
Travis: “For money of course!”
Arliss: “What’s money?”
Travis: “It’s what you buy things with.”
Arliss: “What do you mean buy things?”
Travis: “Well you got money ya give it ta people for stuff. They say you can get anything for money.”
Arliss: “Anything!!!!!! What’s it look like?”
Travis: “I never seen but one piece…a dollar bill Papa had. Its paper”
Arliss: “What did Papa get for this dollar?”
Travis: “Nothing it was no good.”
Arliss: “But you just said you could get anything with money!”
Travis: “Well you can..Papa’s was Confederate.”
Arliss: “What’s Confederate money?”
Travis: “Confederate money…well…..it’s……..
Arliss: “ Well!?????”
Travis: “Don’t you ever run out of questions!”
Maybe we should be more like Arliss and ask more questions about the nature of money.