p. 398 p. 399 p. 408 p. 409

WITH my first screening of Natures Half Acre, I saw a dream realized. It was a dream I had had away back in 1934, when I started filming my own In The Beginning. Working without color and with lenses rather inferior to those available today, I still was able to bring to the amateur screen a film that is shown occasionally even today. But it wasnt what I'd dreamt it might be: and Natures Half Acre is exactly that. Third in the Walt Disney True Life Adventure series, Natures Half Acre tells a story of the amazing amount of life to be found in almost any back yard. In doing so, it reveals the manner in which nature maintains a balance amid the world of insects.

Ants, ladybugs, bees and grasshoppers are introduced first. Then in a meadow, larks and red-winged blackbirds sing. The songs of many birds are heard, the mockingbird, the wren and the bobolinks. The natural sounds of the outdoors blend into a Symphony of Spring—a musical sequence featuring the birds and the butterflies, a hummingbird, goldfinch, woodpecker, waxwing and a woodcock.

A nest-building sequence follows, showing how the birds prepare for their families. Wood-boring insects are seen laying their eggs beneath the bark of a tree: a moth glues her eggs to a twig. The caterpillars emerge in due course and begin to eat leaves. It seems likely that the trees will be stripped, but natures system of balance is emphasized when the mother birds are shown feeding caterpillars to their young.


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