Some of my most favorite Disney films currently are from the Independent Film Label off The Walt Disney Company, DisneyNature. Mostly noted for their past nature documentaries: Earth, Oceans and African Cats, they’ve now opened up the window into the world of Chimpanzee.
From Disneynature, the studio that brought you “Earth,” “Oceans,” and “African Cats,” comes “Chimpanzee” — a remarkable story of individual triumph and family bonds. Journey deep into the African forest and meet Oscar, an adorable young chimp with an entertaining approach to life. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps who love creating mayhem. His playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Stunning hi-definition images bring you up close and personal as Oscar and his family navigate thecomplex territory of the forest. It’s an inspiring and life-changing adventure that overflows with courage and charm. And it will capture your heart.
I was really overjoyed to have the opportunity to review DisneyNature’s Chimpanzee. I have a soft spot in my heart for chimps and gorillas since my childhood was spent dreaming about being Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. The beautiful story about Oscar is one that played on my heart deeply. You see this little baby chimp grow from an infant to an adolescent, deal with loss and growing up and overall become inspired by his story. The definitions of family and what that means, the struggle that chimpanzee’s face with their own kind and nature as well as the entertaining aspects of how we both similarly learn are remarkably shown. This isn’t a film that was created, it was an offering into their world and the gift of being able to interact with them through time. In fact, Chimpanzee was 30 years in the making with a team of researchers that have been observing chimpanzee’s on the Ivory Coast for 30 years!
The film is narrated by Tim Allen and I have to admit that at first I wasn’t too keen on it. Most of DisneyNature films have a poetic essence to them that really stands out, you are swept away not only by the scenic beauty but also the narrator. Chimpanzee’s narration is more of an amusing playful conversation as if one of your friends were making up the film as it went along. It kind of grows on you though, as well as the more modernized music rather than simply classical. One thing I did happen to realize is that my kids loved it and they seemed more into the narrator than I did. That’s when I realized that it was for the younger generations watching the film and it was perfect.
Bonus Features of the Blu-ray Combo:
- On Location: The Making of “Chimpanzee” – A series of short features including:
- 30 Years in the Making – The story of the team of researchers who have been observing chimpanzees in the Ivory Coast for 30 years.The Heart of the “Chimpanzee” – A behind-the-scenes look at how and why the film was made.
- Piece of the Puzzle – A cameraman’s two-hour daily trek through the forest to get to the chimpanzees.
- Don’t Blame the Tool – An observation of the chimpanzees’ daily lives and how they use rocks as tools to prepare their food.
- Scar’s Army – An inside look at the struggles between the film’s two rival chimpanzee groups who share the same forest home.
- Camp Invaders – A featurette on all the creepy, crawly creatures found at the filmmakers’ forest camp.
- Forest of Bees – A feature detailing how the crew spent two days wading through a sea of bees that inhabited their filming location in order to capture 20 seconds of footage.
- “Rise” Music Video—A music video featuring Hollywood Records recording artists McClain Sisters who wrote and performed the inspirational song that plays during the film’s end credits.
- Behind the Scenes of “Rise”—An inside look at McClain Sisters music video shoot.
Bonus Features on the Digital Version:
- “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees”
- Disney’s Friends for Change
- Disney’s Conservation Legacy
- “Rise” Music Video
- On Location: The Making of “Chimpanzee”
- Years in the Making
- The Heart of the “Chimpanzee”
This is a perfect movie for the family that really gives an exquisite look into the lives of chimpanzee’s and the beauty of the world. You can take home DisneyNature’s Chimpanzee on Amazon for $24.96.
I received a copy of the film for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions are my own and/or my families and are not influenced by any form of compensation.