Long before Animal Planet
existed, Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures
awakened viewers to the wonders of the natural world. Disney began the series in 1946 with Seal Island
, and the six features and seven featurettes won eight Academy Awards.
One winner was Bear Country
(1953), which is included in Creatures of the Wild
, along with The African Lion
(1955), Jungle Cat
(1959) and The Olympic Elk
(1952). Each film traces the course of one year in the life of its subject. Lionesses hunt to feed their cubs (and their glorious but idle mates) on Serengeti Plains. A pair of jaguars in the Amazon and a mother bear in Yellowstone Park raise their cubs, teaching them to find food and avoid predators. Magnificent bull elk fight for mates in the high meadows of the Olympic Mountains. Except for the narration occasionally seeming a little forced or obvious, these documentaries wear their age lightly. The prints have been lovingly restored: scratches and dirt have been removed; the color looks pristine. Artists and scientists will find useful reference material here, and children will enjoy the pageant of nature. Sadly, many of the ecological communities that seemed as inexhaustible as they were beautiful in the 1950's have been severely damaged during the intervening decades by human encroachment, poaching, and climate change. The two-disc set is loaded with extras, including two black-and-white Disneyland
shows from the 1950's. (Rated G, suitable for ages 6 and older: some hunting sequences may be too intense for very small children)--Charles Solomon
Experience the wonder of Walt Disney's groundbreaking nature series for the first time on DVD! These acclaimed stories, fully restored to their original beauty, offer previously unseen looks into the magical world of our animal friends. Enjoy CREATURES OF THE WILD, the third volume of Disney's award-winning TRUE-LIFE ADVENTURES. Journey inside the worlds of some of nature's most magnificent creatures with "The African Lion," "Jungle Cat," "Bear Country" and much more. It's an unforgettable collection of animal stories that the entire family will love.