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Paul Bunyan Vs. John Henry

Hello & welcome back to Vs., today's Vs. is a bit different as for the first time on Vs, we have two shorts characters facing off against each other.  Both of these characters are based on classic tales of giants.   I'm taking a look at Paul Bunyan and John Henry.  Now yes on Top 6 Disney Shorts Characters, I did rank John one spot higher than Paul but that was the toughest spot to figure out as I like both of these characters equally.     The categories involved as always include Personality,  Tool,   Challenge   Song,   and finally The Film Factor.  As a reminder, Film Factor is a look at who works better in their respective  film or in this case, short.  Now yes both of these characters are from shorts but that is the name of that category, with that out of the way, let's begin. 


Paul Bunyan

Paul Bunyan is a man that is good natured and always looking to do the right thing and just  loves having fun but he cut logs pretty well and along his journeys, he created  many great parts of this country such as the Rocky Mountains and Paul thinks there is no challenge  to big for him but he soon finds out that is not the case.   I enjoy his personality and he is a lot of fun to watch and we get to see him grow and there is no one better at chopping down wood than Paul.

John Henry

John Henry is a hardworking kindhearted man and I think part of his hardworking nature comes from the years he spent as a slave, he wants to prove his worth as a human  and when John shows up to help the railroad crew, he is doubted at first but he soon proves his worth there and the legends start spreading about John.   One of the best moments regarding John and it shows how is he willing to give anyone a chance is when the steam  drill comes to take over the railroad workers' job and the crew starts to knock it down but John leans it back up and says he'll the challenge the driver to see who can get their share of the railroad done first.   For me, this shows how much of a good natured person John Henry is and for that reason, this round goes too...

John Henry


Paul's Ax

Paul was given his ax as a Christmas present from the town that took care of him growing up and he used it to chop down the trees and logs.   Paul's ax does have some sentimental value to it as it is a reminder of the town that took care of him.

John's  Hammer

While Paul's ax does hold sentimental value,  I think there is something stronger regarding John's hammer again as stated John was a slave but once he and his love, Polly were freed, she had the chains that John wore forged into a hammer and to me that almost seems like a reminder of where they were and I like that touch and for that reason, this round goes too..

John Henry


Paul Bunyan

I do apologize for using the entire short but that is the only way, I could find this song, It's all right rather catchy and perhaps one of my favorite Disney shorts songs and it fits Paul to a tea and I love how it goes trough the entire short.

John Henry

Again, I apologize about using the short but I ran into the same situation. This one is tough, I really like this song as well and I think it fits the character of John Henry to a tea. I don't think I can decide as I like both of these songs equally and for the first time on Vs., we have a draw.  That's right  this round goes to both Paul and John.   That brings the score up to Paul Bunyan: 1  -  John Henry:  3


Paul  Bunyan

With Paul's  challenge against Joe, I have to admit that it felt a bit show-offish in regards to Paul but to be fair,  Joe was testing his Paul's ego and being show-offish as well.   I do like the man vs. machine aspect but really, it felt like the only thing Paul had the line to lose was his pride.

John Henry

Now first off, I do apologize about using the same John Henry picture for the battle as the other but the other one was too small.   Anyways with John's challenge there was a lot on the line as he was fighting for his friends to keep their job and how could I not have mentioned this but just like John they were also freed slaves, which explains their attitude and like Paul Bunyan, this too is a challenge of  man vs. machine but the difference is John wins the challenge but loses his life as he dies after the challenge.   I have to say, I think part of the reason, I like John's challenge better is because not only are the stakes higher but it actually feels as though there is something more important on the line and John isn't doing this for himself, no he's doing it so that people can keep their jobs and again to me that shows how much of a good person he is and for that reason, this round goes too...

John Henry

The Film Factor

This decides it all,  the current score is John Henry: 4 - Paul Bunyan: 1.   Now, I have a feeling that  this category will be one of the toughest. Let's get going.

Paul Bunyan

When Paul is onscreen there in no doubt that he is the main character and he commands the screen.   He is fun to watch and it never wavers that he is the main character.  

John Henry

Just as with Paul, there is no doubt, that the audience's focus should be on Paul and he is great to watch and he does command your attention.   While there are more characters in this short than Paul Bunyan that we spend time with, it is made clear that John is the star and for that reason alone, this round goes too...

John Henry

The End Result

In the end,  John Henry wins 5 -1 and sure some of you could argue that it was a technicality as Paul only got a score because of a draw but I honestly couldn't decide in that round but I like both of these characters but I think John Henry is a character that I enjoy more. Until next time, peace! 

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