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Season 5 Episode 26

I Captured the King of the Leprechauns

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM May 29, 1959 on ABC
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Episode Summary

I Captured the King of the Leprechauns
At the suggestion of actor Pat O'Brien, Walt Disney travels to Ireland to capture a leprechaun for his new movie, and meets Darby O'Gill and the King of the Leprechauns.

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  • This episode of "Disneyland" is as enjoyable as the movie it promotes, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People".

    First, let me state that this installment of is not a "making of" documentary, but is a fantasy in itself. Walt Disney opens with a talk on how he wanted to make a movie about Ireland, and consults the most Irish Irishman in Hollywood, Pat O'Brien. O'Brien gives Walt a brief explanation of the "Little People", leprechauns, but that no movie could do them justice without a real leprechaun in it. So Walt goes to Ireland (ostensibly) and consults a librarian of Irish folklore, who refers him to a man who has encountered and occassionally out-witted them, Darby O'Gill. Walt visits Darby, and the two go to the top a mysterious mountain where they find King Brian, king of the leprechauns. Walt hears Darby and King Brian exchange tales of their encounters with each other, told in flashback, including film clips from the feature film. Walt gets KIng Brian to agree to accompany him to Hollywood to act in his movie, along with the other leprechauns. When Walt returns he again sees Pat O'Brien and tells him about his adventure in Ireland. Pat seems incredulous. He didn't expect Walt to take his stories seriously, but Walt assures him it's all true. We are treated with more scenes from the movie (shown in B&W, although the movie was filmed in color), including pre-Bond Sean Connery and Janet Munro. At the end, O'Brien looks to the camera and says, "This I gotta see!"

    Albert Sharpe as Darby and Jimmy O'Dea as King Brian make special appearances in this feature. The other actors in the movie are shown only in clips from the movie. As stated in a note, this is included as a special feature for the movie DVD. Catch it if you can. Great St. Patrick's Day fare.moreless
Dick Wesson

Dick Wesson

Announcer (October 1954-January 1979)

Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Host (1954-1966)

Rex Allen

Rex Allen


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • King Brian: Darby O'Gill. What class of deceitful trickery are you up to this time?
      Darby O'Gill: Good evenin', Your Honor. I brought a Mr. Disney here to see you, sir.
      King Brian: Disney? I know the Daleys, the Duffys, the Donovans, the Dedrens, the Doleys, the Dardys, but Disney? No. I don't know any Disneys. So, good night, sir.

    • Walt Disney: Some time ago, I decided to make an Irish picture. For Ireland is the home of the leprechaun. And the little people have always fascinated me.

    • Walt Disney: Well, I've always wanted to go to Ireland, so, what can I lose?
      Pat O'Brien: Nothing but your heart.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The King Brian scenes are not done trough split image but a technique devised by Peter Ellenshaw called Forced Perspective. This is done by having King Brian four times farther away from the camera than Walt and Darby, making him look one quarter the size. The merge between the two is done with a mirror, with Walt and Darby appearing through a part of the mirror where the silver has been removed.

    • This episode is included on the DVD of Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

    • This episode was filmed at the Disney Studio in Burbank and not Ireland as stated by Walt in the episode.