Disneynature: Chimpanzee (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
DVD + Blu-ray
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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 rainforest 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. Full of curiosity, a zest for discovery, joy and a love for mimicking others, they are some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Stunning high-definition images bring you up close and personal as Oscar and his family navigate the complex territory of the forest. It's an inspiring and life-changing adventure that overflows with courage and charm. And it will capture your heart.
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It took four years to make this film. It isn't easy to follow wild chimps through dense and remote rain forest, nor is it an easy matter to acquire good, clear footage without getting too close. I readily admit I wish some things had been done differently in the making of 'Chimpanzee'. (Things like the narration script and some of the editing.) That said, it contains some of the best play, grooming, and tool usage footage to be found anywhere. The footage of well coordinated hunting is amazing, impressive, and not something often seen at length in most great ape documentaries.
The single most important accomplishment of this film, in my opinion, is that it is impossible for any thinking individual to come away from seeing without realizing that chimps are extremely intelligent with complex social structure. Their DNA is 98.6% identical to our own - no wonder they seem so very 'human' at times....And that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly...You know, things like rejecting a young beggar because you have your own kids to feed, making war over turf and resources, strong family bonds, the joy of play, and the politics of power. If, like reviewer 'Scott', you are offended by your young relatives seeing reality, if hunting for meat offends you, then you would be well served to go rent "Lion Kink' instead.
Those critical of the story line should perhaps keep in mind that while adoption of orphans (or the infants of inept or negligent mothers) is not unheard of among chimpanzees. It is also true infant mortality among chimpanzees is significant, especially when a mother is killed, injured, or ill. One thing not mentioned, which I believe should have been, is that 'Freddie' and 'Oscar' are more than likely close blood relatives. Even at that, a male chimp adopting/fostering is definitely NOT the norm, let alone a reigning alpha doing so. That alone makes this a rather remarkable film. Something that is brought out in the 'making of' featurette is that Oscar being orphaned was unexpected, and until the alpha male adopted him, the future of the film was in question.
This was my first Amazon rental. We started the movie on the iPad and then connected it to the TV via our AppleTV. Worked flawlessly.
SPOILER ALERT: The baby, Oscar, loses his mom in the movie. Beware if you think that will scare your kids. My sensitive 4-year old made it through without any tears.
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