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HISTORY

Winston Hibler's opening credit reads: "Produced and narrated by Winston Hibler." The opening credits contain the statement: "With the cooperation of U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Fish and Game Department." The film begins with the following written statement, read aloud by Hibler: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven... Ecclesiastes III." Walt Disney described the narration, written by Hibler and co-director Ralph Wright and often containing rhymes, as "lyric prose."
       Perri is introduced in the opening onscreen credits as a "True-Life Fantasy," to differentiate it from Disney's "True-Life Adventure" series of nature documentaries. In Perri , documentary footage is edited into a narrative story, based on Felix Salten's novel Die jogend des eichornchens Perri (published in English as Perri ) and supplemented with animated sequences. One sequence, referred to in contemporary sources as the "snow ballet," mixes photographic footage with animated images of forest animals and snowflakes. The narration makes the fictionalized aspect of the story explicit by referring to the action as a “play,” with a theme and a setting. The viewed print was missing several feet at the end.
       According to a Feb 1957 NYT article, Disney purchased the film rights to Perri in 1933, at the same time he purchased the rights to Salten's Bambi . The following information about the production was obtained from studio press materials: The film was shot over a three-year period in Utah's Uintah National Forest of Utah and in the forests of Wyoming. At the film sites, the naturalist photographers first hoisted cameras as high as fifty ... More Less

Winston Hibler's opening credit reads: "Produced and narrated by Winston Hibler." The opening credits contain the statement: "With the cooperation of U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Fish and Game Department." The film begins with the following written statement, read aloud by Hibler: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven... Ecclesiastes III." Walt Disney described the narration, written by Hibler and co-director Ralph Wright and often containing rhymes, as "lyric prose."
       Perri is introduced in the opening onscreen credits as a "True-Life Fantasy," to differentiate it from Disney's "True-Life Adventure" series of nature documentaries. In Perri , documentary footage is edited into a narrative story, based on Felix Salten's novel Die jogend des eichornchens Perri (published in English as Perri ) and supplemented with animated sequences. One sequence, referred to in contemporary sources as the "snow ballet," mixes photographic footage with animated images of forest animals and snowflakes. The narration makes the fictionalized aspect of the story explicit by referring to the action as a “play,” with a theme and a setting. The viewed print was missing several feet at the end.
       According to a Feb 1957 NYT article, Disney purchased the film rights to Perri in 1933, at the same time he purchased the rights to Salten's Bambi . The following information about the production was obtained from studio press materials: The film was shot over a three-year period in Utah's Uintah National Forest of Utah and in the forests of Wyoming. At the film sites, the naturalist photographers first hoisted cameras as high as fifty feet into the treetops, then contended with poor weather, a flash fire and mischievous wild animals. National park rangers visited the camp occasionally and helped the photographers procure over 300,000 feet of 16mm film, which was then edited into 8,000 feet and transferred to 35mm. Perri marked the first onscreen credit for Roy Edward Disney, Walt Disney's nephew. In 1967 Roy Disney was elected to the Board of Directors of the Disney company, and in 1984 he became head of the animation department. HR reported on 30 Jun 1957 that the film would premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Paul Smith's score was nominated for an Academy Award. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Aug 1957.
---
Daily Variety
20 Aug 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Aug 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1957
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 57
p. 3.
Los Angeles Mirror
24 Aug 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Aug 57
p. 505.
New York Times
3 Feb 1957.
---
New York Times
2 Oct 1957
p. 27.
Variety
21 Aug 57
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walt Disney Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec art eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Die jogend des eichornchens Perri by Felix Salten (German publication date undetermined
English-language translation, New York, 1938).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"Symphony of Gold" and "Winter Symphony" by Paul Smith.
SONGS
"Break of Day," music by George Bruns, lyrics by Winston Hibler
"Together Time," music by Paul Smith, lyrics by Paul Smith, Winston Hibler, Ralph Wright and Gil George
"Now to Sleep," music by George Bruns, lyrics by Winston Hibler and Ralph Wright.
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1957
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 Oct 1957
Production Date:
1954--1957
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
14 August 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9222
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Animation
with anim seq
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Length(in feet):
8,000
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18522
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

To illustrate how nature creates a time and place for everything, the film follows a pine squirrel named Perri through each season of the year. During spring in a forest called Wildwood Heart, the resident animals raise their new babies. A male pine squirrel lives separately from his mate and brood, which includes the tiny Perri. One day, while Perri’s mother searches for food, a hungry marten attacks her treetop nest. When Perri’s father calls out to lure the marten away, the larger animal kills him, leaving Perri’s mother to carry each of her children to a safer nest. Perri is the last baby to be moved, but manages to elude the marten by hiding under cedar shavings. The marten is finally distracted by a raccoon attacking her nest, but the raccoon is stung by a porcupine and so retreats. Later, other forest animals hunt one another, including a fox that kills a rabbit, which is then stolen by a wildcat after he chases the fox away. The beaver eats aspen trees, then makes a dam out of the remaining logs. After a nocturnal flying squirrel is disturbed by a sapsucker, it flies during daylight, which allows a goshawk to capture and kill it. At nightfall, most of the forest families settle in to sleep. Another day, the baby squirrels take their first steps onto the tree branches, then learn to hunt for food, as do the baby raccoons. Soon, summer comes, during which parents continue to teach their offspring survival skills. The father beaver shows his son how to build a dam, while the wildcat demonstrates for her cubs the correct way to pounce. Perri learns to jump ... +


To illustrate how nature creates a time and place for everything, the film follows a pine squirrel named Perri through each season of the year. During spring in a forest called Wildwood Heart, the resident animals raise their new babies. A male pine squirrel lives separately from his mate and brood, which includes the tiny Perri. One day, while Perri’s mother searches for food, a hungry marten attacks her treetop nest. When Perri’s father calls out to lure the marten away, the larger animal kills him, leaving Perri’s mother to carry each of her children to a safer nest. Perri is the last baby to be moved, but manages to elude the marten by hiding under cedar shavings. The marten is finally distracted by a raccoon attacking her nest, but the raccoon is stung by a porcupine and so retreats. Later, other forest animals hunt one another, including a fox that kills a rabbit, which is then stolen by a wildcat after he chases the fox away. The beaver eats aspen trees, then makes a dam out of the remaining logs. After a nocturnal flying squirrel is disturbed by a sapsucker, it flies during daylight, which allows a goshawk to capture and kill it. At nightfall, most of the forest families settle in to sleep. Another day, the baby squirrels take their first steps onto the tree branches, then learn to hunt for food, as do the baby raccoons. Soon, summer comes, during which parents continue to teach their offspring survival skills. The father beaver shows his son how to build a dam, while the wildcat demonstrates for her cubs the correct way to pounce. Perri learns to jump from limb to limb. She tries to play with baby hummingbirds but the birds’s mother chases her away, and later, she attempts to mimic a flying squirrel by diving off a high branch. Although unhurt, she lands in unfamiliar territory and is frightened. By the time she finds her home tree, her family is gone, and she must flee a marten, finally evading it by jumping into the creek. There, she is threatened anew by a wildcat, but is saved by a male pine squirrel named Porro, who distracts the cat. Perri eventually makes a safe nest for herself near the ancient hollow log in which Porro lives. In the autumn, leaves fall onto Wildwood Heart, blanketing the forest floor and causing Perri to lose her bearings. She is chased by a hawk and falls into a grove of crooked aspen trees, where a weasel pursues her high into the trees. When the hawk swoops down on both small animals, Perri jumps to safety and the hawk kills the weasel. Meanwhile, Porro is driven out of his log by a raccoon, and spends a night unprotected, running from owls. When he cannot find a suitable nest, he is forced to settle underground for the upcoming winter. Pine squirrels spend the winter in a state of semi-hibernation, and while the snow falls, Perri dreams about owls and rabbits under a full moon. Soon, spring returns, and the forest animals find mates. Perri responds to Porro’s mating call, but a lightning storm interrupts their romance and causes a raging fire. Perri escapes by standing on a wildcat’s back in the middle of the creek. Although she fears that Porro has fallen prey to a marten, he emerges unscathed, and they will soon be able to start a new family. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.