7.5/10
1,114
18 user 7 critic

The Living Desert (1953)

Documentary of the lives of flora and fauna in a desert in the US.

Director:

James Algar

Writers:

James Algar (screenplay), Winston Hibler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Winston Hibler Winston Hibler ... Narrator
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Storyline

A day in the life of creatures living in a desert in the southwestern US is shown. Toads, reptiles, wild pigs, insects, mice and birds are followed going about their daily routine and the struggle to find food and not become it themselves. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A True-Life Adventure: The Living Desert See more »

Filming Locations:

Mount Whitney, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When originally released to theaters in 1953, this 69-minute feature film was double billed with Walt Disney's 21-minute cartoon short Ben and Me (1953), as a 90-minute package deal. This and "Ben and Me" were the first to be released by Buena Vista. RKO continued to distribute Disney's cartoons until 1956. RKO shut down in 1957. See more »

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User Reviews

A little uneven, but worth a viewing
25 July 2015 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

When "The Living Desert" was first released, despite it being something new - a feature-length nature documentary released to regular movie theaters - it upset critics to a degree. I can sort of understand why it did. For one thing, it on occasion manipulates footage for humor, such as with the notorious "scorpion dance" sequence, which comes across as somewhat embarrassing today. Also, it is even more clear today that with 1953 audiences that some "outdoor" scenes were filmed on an artificial desert set on a soundstage. Despite these problems, the documentary is still worth a look. Viewers young and old will learn a lot about the wildlife in the American desert. The movie moves along at a brisk pace, with no dead spots. And some of the footage is still spectacular today, such as with the sequence with the tarantula-hunting wasp. By the way, Walt Disney did learn his lesson with this documentary - later entries in the True-Life series significantly toned down the humor and the manipulation.


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