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Chimpanzee—movie review

Reviews
by Leonard Maltin
April 20, 2012 1:00 AM
5 Comments
  • |
Disney Oscar...

The fourth annual entry in the Disney Nature series that began with Earth, Chimpanzee once again takes a low-key, family-friendly approach to its subject and applies what can only be described as “the Disney touch” to already-compelling real-life footage.

Using a technique Walt Disney and his colleagues pioneered in their True-Life Adventures and television shows decades ago, longtime studio producer Don Hahn knows how to appeal to kids in the audience. The animals are personified; by giving them names, they become identifiable characters. The effect is amplified by Tim Allen’s light, colloquial narration.

So it is that we meet Oscar, a baby chimp who depends on his mother, Isha, for all of his needs. The tribe leader, Freddy, is protective of his clan but pays little attention to the children, who must learn to fend for themselves at some point. Survival in the African jungle means access to food, and this pits the tribe against a rival group that is much larger and more ferocious.

Photo by Kristin J. Mosher - Courtesy Disney The Rivals...

Just because Chimpanzee is rated G doesn’t mean that it is completely benign; parents may have to explain some of what’s going on to their younger kids, especially some of the harsher laws of the jungle.

But older kids and grownups will be especially impressed with behind-the-scenes footage that is shown at the end of the picture, where we see some of the techniques that directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield employ to capture their amazing footage. The reaction of the filmmakers and their team to Oscar’s eventual fate is also quite revealing.

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5 Comments

  • Melissa Vella | April 28, 2012 6:00 PMReply

    Very upset that they didnt say that this exact same movie can be seen on dvd.. i just watch this I got it from my libary two weeks ago.. Dont waste your money just go make a donation straight to them and go get it from your local libary...

  • Yellowrose | April 28, 2012 7:56 AMReply

    An awesome movie. The footage is so amazing. I laughed and felt like crying at times. Chimpanzees are such smart creatures with so much human qualities. I loved watching them use their tools and the moms interacting with the little ones. At the end it says that there are only 1/5 if chimps left compared to 1960. What a shame. I loved it! I hope it brings in a lot of money.

  • JACK | April 25, 2012 11:48 PMReply

    GOOD REVIEW

  • john639 | April 24, 2012 6:10 PMReply

    Just watch this movie and its simply incredible! The footage is astounding and you have to keep reminding yourself its's not computer generated. The slow-mo scenes of the plants growing and the rain splashing down is mesmerizing. Watching these chimps makes you realize hoe close to humans they are, how they love each other and have social relationships just like humans. A simply fascinating movie!

  • rabah mahgoul | April 20, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    i think the new movie chimpanzee is going to be the bomb not only the best family friendly film in the world but the best movie yet i think the new movie chimpanzee is going to be #1 in the box office with 900'750'568'178.9million this movie is going so awesome and it hope you love it too

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