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Disney / Lambert the Sheepish Lion


Disney animated short released in 1952. It is narrated by Sterling Holloway.

Lambert, a lion cub, is mistakenly delivered in a flock of sheep by a stork. He is taken in by a ewe after none of the delivered lambs choose her to be their mother. Lambert lives his life thinking he is a sheep until he is forced to unlock his true nature to defend the flock from an attack by a hungry wolf.

On a trivia note, the original print of the film was given as a gift to Emperor Hirohito of Japan because it was reportedly his favorite Disney cartoon.

This short provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Quite a bit in one short:
    • Having your child taken away from you.
    • Having your child bullied due to being adopted.
    • Being viciously attacked in front of your child.
  • Badass Unintentional: Lambert is unaware that he's a lion until the wolf forces him to unleash his inner lion.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lambert is very gentle and "sheep"-ish, but when he needs to defend his flock, he'd unleash his inner lion.
  • Butt Monkey: Lambert, initially. He is repeatedly mocked and humiliated by the sheep of the flock, even as an adult.
  • Cowardly Lion: Lambert is a scaredy cat and runs away at the first sign of danger. Until he realized that he's a lion, that is.
  • Delivery Stork: A mistake in the delivery sent Lambert the Lion into a sheep flock alongside other baby lambs. note 
  • Disney Villain Death:Subverted, suprisingly enough. Lambert apparently scares the wolf off a cliff and to his doom. The narrator reveals at the end the Wolf's alive, stuck on a branch with berries for food. However...
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The Wolf is a vicious predator now trapped with a tiny bit of fruit unable to move lest he die.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The first-person perspective shots of the wolf coming to attack the sheep, which is Stock Footage from Disney's version of Peter and the Wolf.
  • Gentle Giant: Despite being a gigantic lion, Lambert is one of the sweetest creatures around.
    Narrator: "Isn't he HUGE?!"
  • Interspecies Adoption: Lambert is a lion who was raised by a sheep.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The other lambs are not at all kind to Lambert once they find out he cannot baa.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Lambert is cowardly and sheepish, but once his mother is in danger he realizes what it means to be a lion and fights the wolf.
  • Mighty Roar: Lambert lets one out once he realizes he's a Lion.
  • Mama Bear: When The Stork tries to take Lambert back, his mother attacks the stork, causing him to back down and allow her to raise the lion as her own.
  • Momma's Boy: Lambert is very protective of his mother, and becomes the King of Beasts he is when he realizes that his mother is in danger.
  • Nurture over Nature: There is absolutely nothing predatory about Lambert, because he was raised as a sheep.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Lambert doesn't realize that he's not a sheep. Everyone else, however, does.
  • Offscreen Inertia: The wolf is stuck on a branch on the cliff at the end. Lampshaded by the narrator.
  • Oh Crap!: The Wolf once he realizes he's just ticked off a very angry Momma's Boy.
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Parents in Distress: It's his adoptive mother being in danger that unlocks Lambert's true nature.
  • Raised by Wolves: Or rather, sheep.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The narration and dialogue rhyme most of the time.
  • Savage Wolves: The villain is a wolf trying to eat all the sheep.
  • Stock Scream: The Goofy Holler.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lambert spends most of his time as a meek and harmless lion. During the climax, he unleashes his inner beast and fights off the Wolf.
  • Use Your Head: Lambert headbutts the wolf into a cliff in the film's climax.