WALT DISNEY, creator of such masterpieces as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland, has long been known wherever motion pictures are shown. But, ultimate as it was in quality, known for one product only—the animated cartoon. It was rather surprising, therefore, to learn that the Disney Studios had taken up a side line, the True Life Adventure series. It was, perhaps, less surprising that their first two releases, Seal Island and Beaver Valley, won Academy Awards.
When I saw these pictures in private previews at the Disney Studios, I was tremendously impressed with their values as entertainment, instructive nature studies and, above all, their inspiring lessons to ambitious movie amateurs. Now that Natures Half Acre, third in the series, is completed and released, I feel it a pleasant and even urgent duty to report on them to my fellow members in the Amateur Cinema League.
For here is something new out of Hollywood—or to be more precise, out of Burbank—and that something is right down the amateurs alley. These pictures, although you see them in 35mm. Technicolor, came from 16mm, cameras. And Natures Half Acre was shot entirely by photographers who are not in any sense professionals in Hollywood terms; some are pure amateurs in any terms. Further, except for the time-lapse sequences, no equipment was used that is not generally available to all of us.