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Anchor Bay presents
The Legend Of Lobo (1962)

"The king of all the hunters/Born to lead the rest/His name became a legend/Across the great Southwest."
- The Sons Of The Pioneers

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: January 04, 2001

Stars: Rex Allen
Other Stars: The Sons Of The Pioneers
Director: James Algar

Manufacturer: Nimbus
MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:07m:12s
Release Date: February 22, 2000
UPC: 013131109191
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A AB+A- D+

DVD Review

Director James Algar's career was spent at the Disney studios, starting as an animator on 1937's Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and taking his first directorial position in charge of the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia. Though he made his debut with Disney's animation features, he would build a body of work on Disney's live action nature documentaries that would form the bulk of his filmography. 1962's The Legend Of Lobo was his final feature for the studio, and tells the tale of a legendary wolf who had a $1,000 bounty on its head, more than most human outlaws of the time.

The story begins in 1889, with the tale of Lobo's father, El Fieros, another legendary wolf in the old southwest. As the buffalo that were his prey were hunted into extinction, cattle became an obvious replacement, much to the dismay of the cattlemen, who hunted down wolves as they did any predator after their herds. Lobo's father was the most cunning, fierce and strong of the wolves, and earned a respected reputation from the natives of the territory. His offspring Lobo follows in his fathers paw prints, curious, clever and intelligent. When the cattlemen get too close to the den where the young Lobo was born, his parents move the family out, an excursion that will help educate the young wolf in the ways of the world. As he encounters a number of interesting creatures, including a tortoise and an armadillo, he begins to learn about his neighbors on the plains. As he grows older, he learns to hate the men who are hunting his kind, and have killed his parents. Off on his own, he soon becomes the leader of a new wolf pack, and takes a black-haired female as his mate. When the bounty for his hide brings in a professional hunter, he matches wits with the humans and teaches them a thing or two about messing with a legend.

Filmed on location in Sedona, Arizona, and based on a story by Ernest Thompson Seton, The Legend Of Lobo is brought to the screen through images captured by cinematographers Jack Couffer (Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Nikki, Wild Dog of the North) and Lloyd Beebe (Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar, Nikki, Wild Dog of the North). Told entirely via narrative by Rex Allen and segued by verses from the title song written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by The Sons of the Pioneers, The Legend Of Lobo is a unique piece of filmmaking. Although there are actors onscreen in a few scenes, none have any dialogue. The only onscreen characters allowed a voice are the wolves, and a few of their many adversaries. Through the first part of the film we see Lobo as a cute little pup, getting himself into all sorts of mischief and having adventures with all manner of creatures. As he matures, we see him take his place in the wolf pack and become a father, walking the narrow edge between hunter and hunted. Although there are many scenes depicting the natural order of things, death is handled delicately and matter-of-factly, without a lot of melodrama. The battle encounters certainly look real, and a lot of insight into wolf behavior is given to the viewer. While the extremely sensitive viewer may wish to keep a tissue handy, the story is one of triumph over adversity. The Legend Of Lobo is certainly a rewarding experience, and one I could recommend for the whole family.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The Legend Of Lobo is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The source material exhibits a fair amount of dust and scratches throughout the feature, though most is unobtrusive with only a few more major signs of damage. Fine grain is also evident throughout, though it is well rendered. Colors are solid, though hued as films of this era almost always are. There were a couple of instances where edge enhancement were present, though the majority was unaffected by it. Not as pristine as I would have prefered, but still very good for its age, and any flaws noted were due to the source materials.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The two-channel mono soundtrack is in pretty good shape, with only a couple of splice glitches audible. Not quite as full range as modern soundtracks, the sound quality is suitable for the picture.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Not unusual for these Disney licenses, The Legend Of Lobo is devoid of on disc extras, which is unfortunate given that the documenting of what went on behind the making of many of these live action animal adventures could be quite a story. We do get a sturdy cardboard insert card with the original one sheet artwork, a feature I enjoy, advertised with a paw print sticker on the cover.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Another interesting live action Disney film, brought to DVD by Anchor Bay. Though the film may not play to the more macho audience, those who enjoy animal stories can't go wrong with this film, and its unique presentation adds to its character. Suitable for all ages.


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