//Zorro: A Masked Hero on Horseback
Tornado and Zorro - Famous Horses

Zorro: A Masked Hero on Horseback

Zorro is the hero who marked the childhood of at least 4 decades. A powerful rider equipped with a sword and his intelligence makes a difference and does justice. Zorro is the masked hero par excellence who does justice on horseback .

Protected by his mask and black outfit with cape and hat Zorro is dedicated to doing justice.

The events reported in the series are located in the city of Los Angeles of the 19th century. This region at the time was a Spanish colony and was known as California today.

In this context, a government is outlined that oppresses its helpless inhabitants. Zorro is a hero who thanks to his abilities outperforms the clumsy and oppressive rulers.

Zorro’s abilities are not limited to the art of horseback riding and fencing because this man is also endowed with great intelligence.

Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de La Vega, a nobleman just outraged by oppression. Zorro is a masked hero on horseback who seeks justice for all.

This is the image that many of us remember. Those born from the 1950s to the 1990s know Zorro. Some of us remember it in color and some in black and white. Zorro set the tone in the homes of millions of children in dozens of countries.

This is one of the favorite characters of amateur rider Gustavo Mirabal.

Today we will learn a little more about its history and the artistic expressions that this character has inspired. A character of popular culture who has earned the hearts of several generations. Without further ado let’s get started.

Zorro 1957 - 1959 Opening and Closing Theme (With Snippets)

The original Zorro, a masked hero on horseback without a special horse

Zorro was a character created by American writer Johnston McCulley. Prolific Johnston McCulley wrote more than 100 short stories and about fifty novels without the numerous screenplays for film and television.

He created other famous characters of the time such as Black Star, The Spider and The Crimson Clown.

He also wrote the screenplays to bring several of his short stories to the cinema. But without a doubt its most famous characters the Spanish Zorro of Baja California.

Zorro was born in the pages of the short story “The Curse of Capistrano”. His success led McCulley to write 60 other stories about the masked Californian hero on horseback.

The curse of capistrano - The first story of Zorro, a masked hero on horseback
The Curse of Capistrano – The First Story of Zorro a Masked Hero on Horseback

Zorro the Hero on horseback of modern culture

Zorro is rated in modern culture by the first fictional hero. This character born from McCulley’s pages has gone through almost every media outlet.

From books, movies, TV series, comics and even the theater have seen the masked hero on horseback pass by.

But it just so happens that Zorro we all know is a different Zorro. The hero we know has a great attachment to his friend Tornado, Zorro’s Horse.

McCulley’s work mentions exceptional horses but makes no mention of a particular name.

It is true that in human history exceptional horses have had a name of their own. Examples such as Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s Horse, Pigeon Simon Bolivar’s Horse and Julius Caesar’s Horse Genitor could fill hundreds of pages.

That’s why Walt Disney in his quest to give the TV adaptation an irresistible personality made a small change. Introducing Tornado, Zorro’s horse, would change nothing in history but give him personality.

But let’s learn a little more about this “character in the series.”

The Lone Ranger and Zorro
The Lone Ranger and Zorro

Tornado, Zorro’s horse, a masked hero.

Introducing the dynamic between Zorro and Tornado was not difficult, the hard part was getting an actor to play such a prodigy.

It took a beautiful horse capable of running, jumping and doing all sorts of feats. This required a horse that looked good on the screen but was also competent.

It was certainly a big challenge for the Walt Disney Company’s “Big Boss.”

Walt Disney in deciding to adapt Zorro story to the small screen including a special horse was tasked with achieving it. That’s how he found a race champion horse that would play Tornado…

Tornado, Zorro’s horse, a masked hero
Tornado, Zorro’s horse, a masked hero

What’s the name of Tornado, Zorro’s horse?

The name of Tornado, Zorro’s horse is, basically, Diamond Decorator. Zorro’s horse in the series is called Tornado and was incarnated primarily by champion horse Diamond Decorator.

It was also embodied by at least 3 additional horses that served as Diamond Decorator’s “risk doubles”.

In this way the new and prodigious actor who would play the prodigious horse was protected. Tornado would be able to jump, run and even do one of the other stunts. He would also be able to assist Zorro to escape numerous dangers. Thanks to Tornado’s intelligence, Zorro could give him instructions with a whistle.

No doubt this was one of the great allies of this famous hero.

Diamond Decorator is Tornado, Zorro's Horse
Diamond Decorator is Tornado, Zorro’s Horse

Zorro series, the masked hero on horseback

A series produced by The Walt Disney Company in the late 1950s would make its mark in several generations.

So successful was that when color television arrived it continued to be broadcast. Years later, television footage would be “colored” to adapt it to new times. This was done during a remastering in 1992 to attract audiences of the time. This was a great success because in Argentina and other countries as well as in some streaming services it is still broadcast.

Beyond all this there was great talent behind this production. Let’s get to know them.

A noble knight would play Zorro, a masked hero on horseback

The actor who would play Zorro would be the famous Guy Williams.

Guy Williams began working as an actor with Universal Studios in Hollywood. But after several small roles he had an accident that left him injured. Because of that incident Williams decided to return to his native New York.

Williams was born in New York in the middle of Broadway. She had minor jobs until she began working as a model and without a single-out.

Due to his Italian-Latin roots he was rejected from several works. Under the circumstances, his agent decided to change his stage name from Armand Catalano to Guy Williams. Only through adversity can it be grown and flowered.

This is how almost 10 years after his accident and his dedication to independent films he landed the role that catapulted him to fame…

Some of the skills that made him perfect for the role was skill as a jockey and his fencing knowledge. This gave him an advantage that Guy Williams took advantage of in Walt Disney’s own personal interview.

As a result, he earned a high salary ($2500 a week for the time) and the role that would make him famous. Due to his previous experience with the incident on a horse that left him out of acting, Guy Williams also had a double action.

He was so successful that he then followed his streak with series such as Bonanza and Lost in Space…

Definitely a great interpreter.

Guy Williams
Guy Williams

Zorro, a masked hero in modern culture.

Today we find Zorro in various media. From comics to a play, to Antonio Banderas’ Zorro for film, Zorro is a timeless hero.

Even Zorro has made some crossovers in comic with the Lone Ranger, another masked hero. You can see some image of this crossover on our Instagram account.

Zorro Handing Out Justice and Values

Rider and entrepreneur Gustavo Mirabal grew up with Zorro in childhood and continues to appreciate his thirst for justice. This left the values he advocates sown.

Undoubtedly Zorro embodies the values of freedom and the pursuit of justice and therefore will never go out of style. Together with their tornado horse they will continue to impart justice and values to the new generations.