Walt Disney Productions ventured into live-action filmmaking during an era when Hollywood was increasingly favoring location shoots. The 1960 release of “Pollyanna” primarily utilized Hollywood soundstages, yet its enchanting opening sequence was filmed on location in picturesque Santa Rosa and Napa Valley, California.

The film opens in a serene late 19th-century summer setting, with boys enjoying a swim beneath the Sulphur Springs railroad trestle, a landmark on the Southern Pacific Calistoga Branch near St. Helena. In July 1959, Disney’s crew built a temporary dam to amass water in a creek to create this idyllic scene. The train that rumbles across the trestle was an actual Western Pacific Railroad relic, masquerading as the Watertown and Eastern Railroad. Fans can still admire this historic locomotive at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

Our young hero, orphan Jimmy Bean, portrayed by Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran, meanders through a bygone era. He joyfully rolls a hoop past the Old Bale Mill, a historical site in a state park a few miles north of St. Helena. This sequence covers various Napa locations, including private properties like Luer Ranch and Egan Ranch.

Viewers are charmed as Jimmy disrupts two little girls with their doll strollers and dodges a flock of sheep, proving that adventure lurked around every rustic turn. This seamless scene, however, transitions from Napa’s countryside to the iconic backlot streets of Universal Studios in Hollywood, then further to Warner Brothers Studio’s town square. Watch for the subtle change in street lamps to spot these clever edits.

The sequence culminates as Jimmy approaches Harrington’s railroad station, which is actually the historic Southern Pacific station in St. Helena. Walt Disney’s adept location scouts spliced bits of Hollywood with Napa, crafting a flawless three-minute sequence that transported viewers through time and geography without them ever noticing.

Disney’s meticulous production process on display in “Pollyanna” elevates this film beyond mere storytelling to an artistic collage of locations and magical filmmaking. Share your insights and memories of this Disney classic in the comments below. Engage with fellow Disney aficionados and spread the magic by sharing this story with friends!

(Source: Original article by Doug Marsh on [Daps Magic](https://dapsmagic.com/2024/06/pollyanna-1960-opening-credits-disney-on-location/))