True-Life Adventures

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Best Of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures series is a collection of fourteen full length and short subject documentary films produced by Walt Disney Productions roughly between the years 1948 and 1960. The series won eight Academy Awards for the studio including three Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature awards for Vanishing Prairie, Living Desert and White Wilderness and five Best Two Reel Live Action Short awards for Seal Island, In Beaver Valley, Nature's Half Acre, Water Birds and Bear Country. It inspired a daily panel comic strip that was distributed from 1955 to 1971. Several of the films were adapted in comic book format as one shots in the Dell Comics Four Color series. The films were among the earliest production experience for Roy E. Disney. Also this film series was the launching pad for Disney's new distributor, Buena Vista International. TV episodes are from Disney's anthology TV series.

In 2007, Disney established a new nature film label called Disneynature.

Films[edit]

# film name type date educational film
1 Seal Island Two-reel short December 21, 1948
2 In Beaver Valley (a.k.a. Beaver Valley) Two-reel short July 19, 1950
3 Nature's Half Acre Two-reel short July 28, 1951
4 The Olympic Elk Two-reel short February 13, 1952
5 Water Birds Two-reel short June 26, 1952
6 Bear Country Two-reel Short February 5, 1953
7 Prowlers of the Everglades Two-reel Short July 23, 1953
8 The Living Desert Feature November 10, 1953 Following educational films were excerpted from The Living Desert:[1]
  • Animals at Home in the Desert (1974)
  • Predators of the Desert (1974)
  • What Is a Desert? (1974)
9 The Vanishing Prairie Feature August 17, 1954 Following educational films were excerpted from The Vanishing Prairie:[2]
  • The Buffalo – Majestic Symbol of the Plains (1962)
  • Small Animals of the Plains (1962)
  • Pioneer Trails, Indian Lore and Bird Life of the Plains (1962)
  • Large Animals that Once Roamed the Plains (1962)
11 Secrets of Life Feature November 6, 1956 Following educational films were excerpted from Secrets of Life:[2]
  • Secrets of the Ant and Insect World (1960),
  • Secrets of the Bee World (1960)
  • Secrets of the Plant World (1960)
  • Secrets of the Underwater World (1960)
10 The African Lion Feature September 14, 1955 Following educational films were excerpted from The African Lion:[2]
  • The African Lion and His Realm (1968)
  • Birds, Baboons, and Other Animals – Their Struggle for Survival (1968)
  • Elephants and Hippos in Africa (1968)
12 Perri Feature August 28, 1957
13 White Wilderness Feature August 12, 1958 Following educational films were excerpted from White Wilderness:[2]
  • The Arctic Region and Its Polar Bears (1964)
  • Large Animals of the Arctic (1964)
  • The Lemmings and Arctic Bird Life (1964)
14 Jungle Cat Feature August 10, 1960 Following educational films were excerpted from Jungle Cat:[1]
  • Animals of the South American Jungle (1974)
  • Jungle Cat of the Amazon(1974)

Educational shorts[edit]

Roy Disney came into the operation in the late 50's & was ultimately responsible for three very similar productions which stand alone for not utilizing the paint brush motif at the top & for not producing posters & press kits like the earlier productions. The titles are: Nature's Strangest Creatures, Mysteries of the Deep, and Island of the sea.

The following short were edited out of the other shorts/films/episodes for educational purpose - either a fragment was exported out of a longer film or two or more sequences were edited together from more than two or more different films to form "new" film. Thus they are not included on the Legacy DVDs. Films made up of stock footage two or more Disney nature films and thus not listed with respective original film above:[1][2]

  • The Weasel Family (1968)
  • The Wild Dog Family - The Coyote (1968)
  • The Wild Cat Family - The Cougar (1968)
  • The Deer Family (1968)
  • Of Horses and Men (1968) with animated inserts.[citation needed]
  • The Bear Family (1970).
  • The Beasts of Burden Family (1970)
  • Teeth are for Chewing (1971) with animated inserts.[citation needed]
  • A Day in Nature's Community (1975)

VHS releases[edit]

Australian & New Zealand releases[edit]

  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 1): The Living Desert (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 2): The Vanishing Prairie (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 3): Jungle Cat (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 4): Secrets of Life (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 5): The African Lion (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 6): White Wilderness (September 22, 1995)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 7): Seal Island (March 15, 1996)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 8): Bear Country (March 15, 1996)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 9): Water Birds (March 15, 1996)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 10): The Olympic Elk (March 15, 1996)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 11): Beaver Valley (March 15, 1996)
  • Disney's True-Life Adventures (Volume 12): Nature's Half Acre (March 15, 1996)

DVD release[edit]

All of the True-Life Adventures have been released on DVD over four discs as part of the Walt Disney Legacy Collection which launched December 5, 2006.

Volume 1: Wonders of the World[edit]

DISC ONE

  • 1. Introduction by Roy Disney
  • 2. White Wilderness
  • 3. Water Birds
  • 4. Beaver Valley
  • 5. Prowlers of the Everglades

DISC TWO

  • 1. Mysteries of the Deep
  • 2. "Wonders of the Water Worlds"
  • 3. "The Crisler Story"

Bonus Features

  • 4. "Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Birds"
  • 5. Tribute to James Algar
  • 6. Filmmakers' Journal
  • 7. Collectors' Corner
  • 8. Original Theatrical Trailers

Volume 2: Lands of Exploration[edit]

DISC ONE

  • 1. Introduction by Roy Disney
  • 2. The Living Desert
  • 3. The Vanishing Prairie
  • 4. Seal Island

DISC TWO

  • 1. Islands of the Sea
  • 2. Nature's Strangest Creatures
  • 3. "Prairie"
  • 4. "Behind the True Life Cameras"

Bonus Features

  • 5. Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Desert Insects
  • 6. Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Snakes
  • 7. Filmmakers' Journal
  • 8. Collectors' Corner
  • 9. Trailers & Promo

Volume 3: Creatures of the Wild[edit]

DISC ONE

  • 1. Introduction by Roy Disney
  • 2. The African Lion
  • 3. Jungle Cat
  • 4. Bear Country

DISC TWO

  • 1. Olympic Elk
  • 2. "Cameras in Africa"
  • 3. "The Yellowstone Story"

Bonus Features

  • 4. Tribute to the Milottes
  • 5. Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Elephants
  • 6. Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Cheetah Medical Exam
  • 7. Filmmakers' Journal
  • 8. Collectors' Corner
  • 9. Trailers & Promo

Volume 4: Nature's Mysteries[edit]

DISC ONE

  • 1. Introduction by Roy Disney
  • 2. Secrets of Life
  • 3. Perri

DISC TWO

  • 1. Nature's Half Acre
  • 2. "Searching for Nature's Mysteries"
  • 3. "Adventure in Wildwood Heart'

Bonus Features

  • 4. Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Butterflies
  • 5. Tribute to Winston Hibler
  • 6. Filmmakers' Journal
  • 7. Collectors' Corner
  • 8. Original Theatrical Trailers

See also[edit]

Documentaries[edit]

References[edit]

  • [1] Volume 1 DVD Stats
  • [2] Volume 2 DVD Stats
  • [3] Volume 3 DVD Stats
  • [4] Volume 4 DVD Stats
  • [5]
  • [6]