I cried and laughed; often at the same time. The thing about live nature documentaries is you have to take the good with the bad. I was worn out by the time it was over.
Samuel L. Jackson narrates this Disney Nature film about two families of cats on a Kenyan reserve. On one side of the river you have a female cheetah taking care of her cubs. She is a single mom, on her own, trying to keep her young ones safe while teaching them survival skills. On the other side you have a pride of lions that use the family group dynamic to raise their young, hunt and survive.
The thing about live nature documentaries is you have to take the good with the bad. I was worn out by the time it was over. I understand the circle of life and the whole food chain thing but I was a nervous wreck watching these animals try and survive; especially the single mother Cheetah. Sometimes I want life to be more like the animated Madagascar film where everyone gets along and they spend their days running and playing. But nature is wild and untamed and at times ferocious. This film does a spectacular job of capturing not only the playful times the animals partake in but also the day to day struggle they face.
Although sometimes hard to endure it was still incredibly beautiful to watch; mainly due to the painstaking lengths Disney went to capture the images. The camera angles, pinpoint sound, and tight shots put you right along side these creatures. Many times I would forget I was watching animals unaware they were being filmed. No one is coaching them or manipulating them. Their use of growls and body language is vividly displayed. You see the emotions on their face and understand fully that family and life are just as important as with those of us who walk upright. The scenery too is breathtaking and captured perfectly. From narration to score, nothing is overlooked.
African Cats is rated G and certainly viewable by all. Do be aware that there are many moments of peril as this is unscripted life. Things do not always go good for the little animals and this film does not candy coat that. Animal lovers will feel their hearts wrenching quite often. Disney has allowed us to see details of the cat’s life in full array and splendor. At the same time it is a miraculous picture of the mothering spirit. A perfect Earth Day film and even one that would fit in the season of Mother’s Day as well. I give it 4.5 out of 5 tongue baths. I cried and laughed; often at the same time.
Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.