28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Both kids and adults were fascinated although the movie had some very slow moments, distracting narration,
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This review is from: Disneynature Chimpanzee (Amazon Instant Video)
This review is based on the Instant View version of the film. . I don't know if it differs from the DVD sets which are available for purchase.
Please note that I DO give away some of the plot details, although this info is also included in nearly every advertisement or trailer for the film. If you haven't seen those, you may not want to read the rest of this review but I think those with young children might want to have enough information to decide if their children are ready for the film.
Before getting into the basics of this movie, I do want to note that it is probably best suited for older children since it does have some sections that could be frightening to younger ones, including the death of a baby chimp's mother (although this is not shown but rather narrated by Tim Allen).
There are also other events which involve violence, including attacks by rival groups of chimpanzees, but - as with the death of the mother chimp - most of the details are left to the imagination. Still, I certainly wouldn't take a young child to this movie. Just my take.
Shown in documentary form, this is the tale of a very young - and adorable - baby chimp named Oscar. The earlier parts of the movie revolve around Oscar's close bond with Isha, his mother. Both kids and adults who watched this with me found the early scenes to the slower part of the film. As one kid put it " There is too much talking" and I have to agree that the narration could have been edited for better impact.
Still, there was plenty of interesting info about how chimps use tools to open fruit and poke sticks in old branches on the ground to find termites and other bugs. Scenes of baby chimps playing - or pretend fighting - with each other brought smiles to our faces.
It takes awhile before the crucial event in this movie occurs....and Oscar's mother dies. This info has been broadly advertised in the promos for this movie but I'll leave out more explicit descriptions here. Young children probably couldn't handle even the narration of these events. I have to admit that I found it difficult to watch Oscar's mournful search for his mother and the challenges he faced without her.
In true Disney form, there is a nice abd comforting resolution - and one that is likely to surprise and amaze viewers. I certainly wouldn't have predicted it.
There is also a bonus bit at the end of the film which reveals how the film was made and some of the humorous as well as frustrating experiences faced by the documentary's creators. I do wish there had been some different and more engaging music throughout the film, similar to that used during the ending scenes.
If you are the sort who detests movies or books where chimpanzees or other creatures are given human names and their feelings are described, you will probably want to avoid the film. After all, who really knows the exact details of another's mind, including human minds? But naming the baby chimp Oscar as well as imagining his possible feelings may make the film more accessible to children and perhaps help spur a lasting enthusiasm for nature. I can certainly see the advantage of this, even though I am ambivalent about it. However, the movie does have the blessing of noted chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and part of the proceeds from the opening week went to the Jane Goodall Institute, designated to help protect chimpanzees and their habitats.
After watching the film, perhaps viewers will also consider how they might help ensure the future of chimpanzees.