Review – Disney’s Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee is DisneyNature’s sixth release since it’s launch, having originally overseen the US version of ‘Earth’ (BBC’s Planet Earth) in 2008. Working with such established production teams as the BBC, Discovery Channel, and Canal+, this time Blacklight Films were sent into the African forest of Taï National Park to bring us this unique docu-drama. Hit the jump for our review…
The film follows the young life of chimpanzee Oscar, his mother Isha and the troop’s leader Freddy as they fend for food and struggle with a rival chimpanzee troop for territory of the nut-groves in the Taï National Park. Narrated (by a light hearted Tim Allen) the film is edited into a story arc designed to educate a younger audience about the trials & tribulations of life itself.
Covering everything from the daily group activities, travel, grooming, use of tools and nesting; the viewer is given great insight (via expertly shot footage) into little Oscar’s world. We are not over protected from the ‘facts of life’, the reality that chimp troops hunt in skilled formations to feed as carnivores by hunting smaller monkeys, or that the territory battles often result in injury or loss of members. Both of which are shown without ever becoming gruesome or cruel.
It’s a brave move by Disney with the film getting a ‘G‘ rating in the US (That’s above a U but below a PG) and certainly made me stop and think about the young viewers. I feel the tastful nature in which the final edit is portrayed is well within a child’s grasp and is nothing they shouldn’t be learning about.
As a seasoned nature documentary fan there was little new knowledge to be found in Disney’s Chimpanzee, but I am not the target audience. For a new generation of wildlife followers (and their parents) this is a great way to learn about the most human of great apes, wrapped up in a pleasent story of life and survival.
Chimpanzee swings into UK cinemas on May 3rd, 2013