The African Lion is a high-water mark in Walt Disney's "True Life Adventures" series. Filmed by Alfred and Elma Malotte, the team responsible for Disney's earlier Beaver Valley, this 75-minute documentary focuses not only on lions, lionesses and their cubs, but also such African wildlife as the jackal, the hyena, the rhino, and the vulture. Narrated by Winston Hibler, the story is unfolded in cyclical fashion: the birth of the lion cub, the efforts of the mother lioness to provide food for her children, and the young lion's eventual maturity and independence. One of the film's pluses is the absence of the "cuteness" and gimmickry that often dumbed down these Disney efforts. Nominated for two Academy Awards, The African Lion lost out to a documentary on the life of Helen Keller.
by Hal Erickson synopsis