The 1985 Disney film The Journey of Natty Gann is set in the dark days of the 1930s depression and tells the story of a young girl and her travels. She, with her father, live in a dumpy old hotel in Chicago, but he soon heads west, alone, in search of work, leaving behind Natty in the care of the hotel’s owner. Unhappy in this position, Natty soon runs away.
In quest to find her father Natty has many adventures along the way and meets and interacts with many interesting people.
Many scenes from the movie were filmed in an area we love and frequent often, the Crowsnest Pass of Alberta (some scenes were also captured just across the border in BC). This area, which has many old coal mining towns, is a film maker’s dream. There are many old period buildings that fit in well with the time frame the movie was set in.
The scene we’ll be duplicating today is simple one – the setting is a party taking place in a building. Our first task to find that building. It looks familiar and we’re certain we’ve seen it before and a little bit of research later and some footwork, we’ve found it. I knew we would.
Next we line up the shot. Since we do this a lot, we’ve developed a technique that works pretty well. Reminder, our now photo is pretty much straight form the camera and no cropping is used to help line things up. We rely on our skill to do that and most times we get real close.
The building seen here is former International Coal and Cole Company mine office. It was coal mining that made the Pass. The building dates from the first few years of the twentieth century. Interestingly, the firm that constructed the building was known as Disney and Johnson. Recall, Natty Gann is a Disney movie.
The image from the movie Journey of Natty Gann is copyright Disney Studios.
To see some other movie then and now posts, go here…
Journey of Natty Gann – old road.
River of No Return.
Silver Streak movie then and now – walking the tracks.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: December, 2014.
Location: Crowsnest Pass, AB.
All the places seen in this report are publicly accessible.