Confederate Critter Show

From Cheese-E-Pedia
A complete shot of the Confederate Critter Show, showing every single character.
The Confederate Critter Show

The Confederate Critter Show was an early animatronic band created by Creative Engineering in 1977. The show was commissioned by Jim Sidwell Sr., owner of Magic World Kid's Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The band was a one-stage, three character show designed to look like the inside of a giant tree stump. The band performed between the years of 1977 to 1996.


Jim Sidwell Sr. commissioned Creative Engineering to create the Confederate Critter Show after witnessing the company’s animatronic characters at the 1976 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida. At first, Sidwell requested only one character. This character, named Friendly Freddy, performed solo on stage for one season, before being returned to Creative Engineering to be retrofitted into a new character named Cornelius Bearpatch. Creative Engineering created two new characters, Colonel Stonewall J. Fox, and Major Mosby Greyhound III, to accompany Cornelius Bearpatch. The three animatronic characters were installed in the following year.

The band was located towards the back left of the park. Large Confederate flags, mounted on a wooden fence, lined the walls outside of the show’s area within the park. Every fifteen minutes, a park employee would make an announcement over the park’s PA system, stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Confederate Critter show will be starting in only five minutes. If you would like to see the Confederate Critter show, please make your way to the oak tree stump at the top of the hill. Once again, that’s the Confederate Critter show, starting in only five minutes.”


The show consisted of three animatronic characters. All three were dressed as Confederate soldiers, as they had previously fought in the United States’ Civil war. Having survived and grown older, they formed a band. Major Mosby Greyhound III was an orange greyhound that played piano. He was cowardly, and was frequently the butt of the rest of the band’s jokes. In contrast to his fellow musicians, he still hadn’t quite recovered from the war. The leader of the band, General Cornelius Bearpatch, played guitar. He introduced the other band members to the audience, broke up fights, gave exposition, and led the band as they entertained the crowd. The last band member, Colonel Stonewall J. Fox, played the banjo. He sung about hunting women, and would try to tempt Major Greyhound into drinking moonshine, starting an argument when Major Greyhound refused. Though they are no longer soldiers and have grown older, they have not forgotten the war and the part they played in it.

The show also featured a live cast member, who portrayed a Union officer by the name of Ulysses S. Smith. He would perform on the stage, as well as interact with the animatronic characters by speaking with them. The band would frequently heckle him for being a Union officer, asking him why he was there and, at one point, referring to him as a “yankee.” Ulysses would also bring out a bottle of moonshine for demonstration purposes, allowing the audience to smell the moonshine as the Confederate Critters performed the song, “Moonshine Whiskey.” Ulysses would also begin to weep and sob during Mosby’s number about lost love.

Both Stonewall J. Fox and Major Mosby were voiced by John Cederberg. It is not known who voiced Cornelius Bearpatch at the time, but it is speculated that Cederberg voiced Repeat Thornsberry in the Hard luck Bears’ premier showtape. Cederberg’s current whereabouts are unknown.[1]

Showtape Songs

Some of the songs the band sang in their 11 minute extravaganza were:

  • “The South Will Rise Again”
  • ”Hunting Women”
  • ”Moonshine Whiskey”
  • ”Mountain Dew”

Little footage of the show exists, being limited to a four minute and twenty-five second video clip of the band performing at Magic World Kid's Park, recorded in 1989 by an attending family.[2] As a result, the showtape for this show is considered only partially found lost media. Friendly Freddy’s showtape for Magic World Kids Park, however, is still completely lost.[3]

Current Whereabouts

The show in its entirety, including its air compressor, was auctioned off during the closure of Magic World in 1996. The show was sold by Sonny Thrower, the Magic World GM, to Charles Moore, the owner of a business named Celebrity Golf, located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The characters were put on display after being retrofitted into bears. There is some disagreement as to the fate of the show.[4] A former employee at Celebrity Golf vividly recalls that the show was completely destroyed upon Celebrity golf’s closure beyond the shadow of a doubt.