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An Otter in the Family

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"An Otter in the Family" is an episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. It aired on February 21, 1965.


When nature lover Roy E. Disney was granted permission to produce one of the hour-long episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color TV series, he came up with An Otter in the Family, which made a splash on this day in 1965. The story tells of a young boy who finds an orphaned baby otter and decides to adopt him into the family, but as the otter grows it wreaks all kinds of havoc, including raiding the neighbor’s chicken coop. If the family in the film seems extremely natural around the otter, there’s a reason. As Roy E. Disney once explained, “What we had was a family that really had a pet otter that lived with them. They were really a nice looking couple, he was a sort of jack-of-all-trades up there… and they had this little 10 year old freckle-faced red-headed kid that was absolutely perfect for the part, and of course knew the animals and was easy with them because he had grown up around them. So we just used this family as the cast.” When wildlife film-makers Philippa Forrester and Charlie Hamilton-James adopted an orphaned otter cub as one of the family, they had no idea of the challenges that lay ahead of them.

Separated from her mother in a flood, the otter cub, 'Grace', would depend on them for everything - their mission was to raise her not as a pet, but as a wild otter, equipped for survival in the wild, so that she could be released when she reached adulthood.

Their highs and lows make for a charming, and at times deeply moving, story for the whole family to enjoy.

Series in which Philippa Forrester and her husband Charlie Hamilton-James adopt an otter named Grace.

Grace is becoming aggressive, so Charlie and the kids try to keep her entertained. But Grace is injured, damaging her chances of returning to the wild.

A look at Philippa Forrester's experiences as the adoptive 'mother' of an otter cub. Philippa Forrester and her husband find Grace the otter is becoming aggressive.

A look at the challenges that face wildlife film-makers Philippa Forrester and Charlie Hamilton-James when they adopt an orphaned otter cub as one of the family.


  • Walt Disney ... Himself - Host
  • Rex Allen ... Himself - Narrator
  • Gary Beecham ... Gary Blaine
  • Mabel Beecham ... Martha Blaine
  • Tom Beecham ... Howard Blaine
  • Donald Cyr ... Al Whitley


  • This episode aired on BBC Two from December 16, 2007 until August 10, 2008.


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