Lambert the Sheepish Lion

Lambert the Sheepish Lion is a Disney animated short film that was released in 1952.[1] It was directed by Jack Hannah.

Lambert the Sheepish Lion
Disney lambert poster.jpg
Directed byJack Hannah
Produced byWalt Disney
Story byBill Peet
Ralph Wright
Milt Banta
StarringSterling Holloway
June Foray
Stan Freberg
Jimmy MacDonald
Clarence Nash
Hannes Schroll
Narrated bySterling Holloway
Music byJoseph Dubin
Animation byEric Larson
John Lounsbery
Don Lusk
Judge Whitaker
Layouts byYale Gracey
Backgrounds byRay Huffine
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • February 8, 1952 (1952-02-08)
Running time
8 minutes 15 seconds
CountryUnited States


A stork (the same stork from Dumbo) delivers a flock of newborn lambs to their expectant mothers but finds that he had mistakenly brought along a lion named Lambert (apparently misinterpreting its name), which was supposed to go to South Africa; one of the mother sheep, who was heartbroken at not receiving a lamb, forcefully demands the stork leave Lambert with her.

Lambert lives his life thinking he is a sheep, but is ostracized by his peers for being and acting different; he is also defenseless against the other lambs' head-butts. One night, a hungry wolf (the same wolf from the "Peter and the Wolf" segment from Make Mine Music), attacks the flock. At first timid like the other sheep, Lambert's lion instincts kick in when the wolf corners Lambert's mother; with an aggressive roar, Lambert butts the wolf off a ledge.

Thereafter, the now-adult Lambert is wholeheartedly accepted by the other sheep as one of the flock and the narrator tells us to not worry about that wolf, which hangs precariously from a bush—the berries on the bush will sustain him.


The voice of the narrator and the stork was provided by actor and Disney legend Sterling Holloway.[2] Holloway also was the voice for the stork in Dumbo, in which the character plays a very similar role in the plot. Uncredited roles include June Foray, who made the sounds of the sheep, Lambert's sheep mother and Lambert's purrs and growls, and Stan Freberg, who voiced Lambert's only spoken line, "Mama!"


In 1952, the film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Short Subject, Cartoons but lost to The Two Mouseketeers, a Tom and Jerry cartoon which shared one of 7 Oscars for the Tom and Jerry series. A picture book adaptation for children was also released in the 1970s as part of the "Disney's Wonderful World of Reading" series.

The original print of the film was given as a gift to Emperor Hirohito of Japan because it was his favorite Disney cartoon.[3]

Other releasesEdit

It also aired as a prelude to Disney's The Lion King when originally released on the big screen in some countries. In the late 1980s it was seen on NBC television as a prelude to the network's prime-time airing of Dumbo, likely because of the presence of the stork character in both films.

Home mediaEdit

The short was released on December 6, 2005 on Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities - Celebrated Shorts: 1920s–1960s.[4]

Additional releases include:


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 153. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7.
  2. ^ Markstein, Don. "Lambert the Sheepish Lion". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  3. ^ Smith, Dave. Disney A to Z: The Updated Official Encyclopedia, Hyperion, 1998.
  4. ^ "Disney Rarities - Celebrated Shorts: 1920s - 1960s DVD Review". DVD Dizzy. Retrieved 14 February 2021.

External linksEdit