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The Living Desert (1953)

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



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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A feature-length documentary showing the changing world of nature, the sky, the sea, the sun, planets, insects and volcanic action. A story of nature's strange and intricate designs for survival and her many methods of perpetuating life.

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Complete credited cast:
Winston Hibler ...


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

Plot Keywords:

nature | true life adventure | See All (2) »


Passed | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A True-Life Adventure: The Living Desert  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Featured in The Mouse Factory: The Great Outdoors (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Never ages, quite lovely
27 August 2005 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

1953 Oscar winner for Best Documentary prompts the question, "Why don't they even make documentaries like this anymore?"...yet, the advent of the success of "March of the Penguins" proves that perhaps they do. This live-action film from the Disney studios details the lives of the animals and insects that fill up America's Southwest desert region. Some of the footage is manipulated for a jokey effect, but why complain when it is such a beautifully assembled picture? Colorful and entertaining, it's the perfect primer for children. Disney continued in this True-Life vein with "The Vanishing Prairie" in 1954. Very lovely, with a terrific background score and narration. Classic Disney.

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