This ring-tailed lemur makes it onto the L post only because lemmings aren’t very interesting to draw. His name is Arthur and he lives in Kent.
That out of the way, we move on to the real post which is all about the reputation of Scrooge Mcduck:
The long-held belief that lemmings are suicidal, throwing themselves off cliffs or into lakes began in an unexpected place; a Scrooge Mcduck comic strip.
In a 1955 strip called “The Lemming and the Locket”, (Uncle $crooge comic, issue 9), lemmings are shown hurling themselves towards their doom (nice family entertainment from Walt).
If Disney’s involvement in the creation of this myth had ended there, it would probably not have been as long-lived but the story was shown to be ‘completely factual’ in the 1958 Disney wildlife documentary “WhiteWilderness”. The stunning photographic skills of this film won Disney an Oscar. Result!
However, the lemmings in the film were flown in from the arctic (the film was made largely in Canada where lemmings are not native creatures). They were placed onto a large snow-covered turntable and made to run around it. This allowed the cameramen to film a huge flow of lemmings on a migratory stampede using only a few dozen lemmings.
Once this piece of filming was complete, the lemmings were flown on to a previously scouted location, a picturesque scene where a snowy cliff overlooked a fast-flowing river. Then the luckless lemmings were herded over the cliff, the whole thing being filmed with Oscar-winning skill… and all of this just to back up a Scrooge Mcduck story. Who knows what nefarious crimes have been carried out in the name of the even more megalomaniacal Mickey Mouse?