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His Majesty, the King of Beasts

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"His Majesty, the King of Beasts" is an episode of Walt Disney Presents. It aired on November 7, 1958.

Synopsis

One would never know it from the publicity packet, but this episode of Walt Disney Presents is actually a 48-minute abridgement of Disney's 75-minute True-Life Adventure feature film The African Lion (1955). Filmed by Al and Elma Milotte over a three-year period in East Equatorial Africa, the episode not only offers the African lion in its natural habitat but other animals of the region as well. Among the many interesting tidbits passed along is the fact that the "King" of the lion family is actually the "Queen," or the lioness, who does most of the hunting. Also featured is rare footage of a cheetah in full running mode, an attack by a swarm of locusts, and, somewhat amusingly, a rhinoceros stuck in the mud (reportedly, once this scene was finished, the filmmakers helpfully rescued the rhino -- whereupon the ungrateful beast charged and nearly destroyed the Milottes' trailer!)

This episode was the edited version of the 1955 theatrical feature "The African Lion." From 1949 to 1960 Walt Disney produced a series of nature films called True Life Adventures; many of which won Academy Awards. "The African Lion" was the third feature film in the series.

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