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Walt Disney's True Life Adventures - The Living Desert [VHS]

4.8 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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  • Walt Disney's True Life Adventures - The Living Desert [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Winston Hibler
  • Directors: James Algar
  • Writers: Winston Hibler, James Algar, Jack Moffitt, Ted Sears
  • Producers: Ben Sharpsteen, Walt Disney
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 16, 1998
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300275035
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,345 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Walt Disney's Living Desert is the finest desert nature footage ever produced--the standard. Released in 1953 in full color it took 3 years to make. It has many fine points including a 2:25 breathtaking sequence in which a large female wasp subdues and paralyzes a tarantula with her stinger. Beautiful botanical time lapse photography is also featured. The Best Documentary Oscar was created for The Living Desert and it was the first recipient of the award. What more can I say---everyone young and old should have the opportunity to see this film.
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By A Customer on November 24, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Living Desert is the introduction to ecology that every child needs to see. It combines extraordinary footage with entertaining music and intelligent commentary, and probably was responsible for millions of Americans learning to look beyond the obvious barren view of our natural resources. So why isn't a copy of this tape in every public library branch in the country? Why not ask your local library if it wants a copy, and make a charitable (and tax-deductible) contribution to our national common body of knowledge? This is the grand-daddy of nature films.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
As a youth, I remember watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" (which, if I'm not mistaken, was later renamed "The Wonderful World of Color"). It was on every Sunday night and would feature cartoons, a serial program like "Davie Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier", or any variety of other Disney-worthy productions including a number of nature programs. I believe it was on that TV show that I first saw "The Living Desert". It won an Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary in 1953.

The photography is the key and the producers wanted us to understand that right from the beginning. The introductary comments mention that the film is the result of hundreds of hours of patient work by wildlife photographers. The ensuing glimpses of wildlife in the desert is fascinating. We see scenes of survival, persistance, and, to put it delicately, the food chain in action. Some of the shots, especially that of a particular bobcat, make one wonder if a little bit of help was arranged to create some of the scenes but it's still a very humorous sequence. Typically, for a Disney production, much of the movie is instructive and informative. Also typical for Disney, the movie will appeal to all ages. Watching "The Living Desert" is certainly time well spent.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I just saw this for the first time, and WOW! Why would I recommend this over 60 year old Disney production made back in 1953? Because it is simply spectacular! With its breathtaking beauty, high comedy, heart stopping drama, and almost unbelievable cinematography, it takes you into the life of the desert in ways I guarantee you haven't seen before. It will alternately have you biting your knuckles, laughing hilariously, cheering for bugs, rats and spiders, and sighing at the beauty of it all. I think this film stands as a masterpiece today, and an almost unbelievable achievement for sixty years ago. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a classic! I remember the narrator's voice from my childhood. I bought it for my five-year-old grandsons and they loved it! I enjoyed it again right along with them… It's a timeless classic...
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Format: VHS Tape
Released in 1953, "The Living Desert" documents the lives of animals and plants in the Death Valley area. Death Valley is a section of the Mojave Desert in eastern California, and it is the lowest and driest area in North America.

Never boring, this 69 minute film explores the "grim desert drama" of the diverse wildlife's struggle to survive. We are shown a battle between a rattlesnake and a red-tailed hawk (excellent), a fight between a tarantula and a very determined tarantula wasp (amazing), and a ... disagreement ... between a bobcat and a few wild boars (sort-of funny). We also get to see the gymnastics of kangaroo rats, the ballet of a sidewinder snake, and the zaniness of a road runner. There is also the mystery of the moving boulders and the power of a flash flood.

Interesting and informative, "The Living Desert" takes the audience through an apparent 48 hour period (though, in fact, the movie took 3 years to film). The camera work here is outstanding ... truly. The narration is also excellent. Well written and witty throughout, it often instills human behaviors into that of animals and bugs .... always with humorous results. The narrator was well chosen. His intelligent yet kind voice (and personality) adds a friendly quality to the film. Likewise, the background music is perfectly suited to the various activities of the wildlife.

Walt won the academy award for best documentary for this film. In fact, "The Living Desert" was so good that the academy saw fit to create a new Oscar category to honor it (documentaries).

It should be noted that, thankfully, none of the cute animals in the movie get caught and eaten. There are some close calls, but it is only the bad guys who ... bite the dust.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I bought this solely for the last 10 minutes of the film. The scenes of the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado river in flood are amazing. It's difficult to find them (hand drawn maps or GPS are most reliable) and even today the road is poorly marked, dirt/gravel washboard, and impassable in rainy weather. It's slow going but the scenery is beautiful. I can't imagine how the filmmakers could find this place back in the late 40's when this was filmed. The rest of the film shows the beauty that the desert holds.
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