White Wilderness 

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

White Wilderness (1958 Movie)

“White Wilderness” is a 1958 Disney documentary film that focuses on the wildlife and landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The film, directed by James Algar, was part of Disney’s True-Life Adventures series, which aimed to showcase various aspects of nature and wildlife.

The film takes viewers on a captivating journey through the frozen wilderness, featuring stunning footage of polar bears, seals, penguins, and other Arctic and Antarctic animals in their natural habitats. Narrated by Winston Hibler, “White Wilderness” provides educational insights into the behavior and survival strategies of these unique creatures, revealing the challenges they face in the extreme environments they inhabit.

One of the most memorable sequences in the film is the depiction of lemmings migrating en masse, showcasing their supposed tendency to commit mass suicide by leaping off cliffs into the ocean. However, it was later revealed that the filmmakers staged this scene using a rotating turntable to force the lemmings off the cliff for dramatic effect. This controversial aspect of the film led to discussions about the ethics of wildlife filmmaking.

Despite the controversy surrounding the lemmings scene, “White Wilderness” received critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1959. It continues to be a part of Disney’s nature documentary legacy, though it also serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of ethical and honest filmmaking practices when portraying wildlife in their natural environments.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Documentary
  • Box Office: $1.8 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Narrator: Winston Hibler


  • Director: James Algar
  • Producer: Ben Sharpsteen and Walt Disney
  • Writer: James Algar
  • Music: Oliver Wallace

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.