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Seal Island (film)

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Title: Seal Island (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Walt Disney anthology television series, Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, Pribilof Islands, James Algar, Ben Sharpsteen
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Seal Island (film)

Seal Island
Film poster for Seal Island
Directed by James Algar
Produced by Ben Sharpsteen, Walt Disney
Narrated by Winston Hibler
Cinematography Alfred Milotte
Edited by Anthony Gerard
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • December 21, 1948 (1948-12-21)
Running time
27 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000

Seal Island is a 1948 American documentary film directed by James Algar. The film was produced by Walt Disney and was the first installment of the True-Life Adventures series of nature documentaries. It won an Academy Award in 1949 for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel).[1]



In 1947, Walt Disney contracted with Alfred and Elma Milotte to shoot documentary footage of the wildlife and culture of Alaska. Disney did not see the theatrical value in the footage of human activity in Alaska, but he was intrigued with footage that the Milottes shot of the seal population at the Pribilof Islands. Disney himself coined the title Seal Island for the film, and planned it as the first in a new series of nature documentaries called True-Life Adventures.[2]

The Milottes shot more than 100,000 feet of film and spent over a year filming the seals. The total production cost Disney a little over $100,000.[3]


RKO Radio Pictures, the studio distributing Disney’s films at the time, initially refused to release the half-hour Seal Island. Disney booked the film for its Los Angeles and New York theatrical engagements, and RKO agreed to release the film nationally only after it proved its commercial potential and received the Academy Award.[2]


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