By Thomas N.
Disneynature is an independent film label of The Disney Corporation and they produce nature films. Go figure. They have released four movies since their conception, the most famous are Earth and Oceans. Earth, the movie, not the planet, was originally released in the United Kingdom and then in the United States on Earth Day 2009. Oceans was also released first in the UK and in the US on Earth Day 2010. This matters because April 22 is Earth Day 2011, and Disneynature has released a new movie called African Cats.
The film follows the story of big cats in Africa. The plot alternates between two families of cats. The African cats in question are a lioness and her young cub and a cheetah with five cubs. The film has all the expected material for a nature movie, cute scenes of the cubs playing, intense scenes of the mother lion and cheetah fighting to protect the cubs, breath taking scenes of the majesty that is the African wilderness, and some amazing scenes of the cheetah running really, really fast as she pursues her prey (and I mean really fast).
There are no humans in the entire movie and it was shot entirely in Kenya. The only voice is that of the narrator, Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson does an admirable job at narrating this movie and in some scenes seems to be having fun. Unlike many nature films, African Cats is not necessarily an educational movie. It does not set out to teach audiences about big cats as much as it sets out to tell a story about the big cats. The filming is superb, the up close shots of the cats are incredible, and the shots of other animals and the African landscape are second to none.
African Cats does have a few problems. The story drags on a bit too long and it seems to flip between the two cat families just as the story of either family starts to progress. Still, it is still worth seeing. The cats are cute and the filming is pretty.
Unless you have a 50+ inch TV, do not wait tell this movie comes out on DVD. Most of the grandness of the film will be lost watching it on a small screen.
This is a perfect movie to take kids to this weekend or to see if you are a fan of nature. It is also worth noting that Disneynature will make a donation African Wildlife Foundation in honor of each individual ticket purchased for opening week. So try and see it by April 29.
Run time 129min
Now Showing at:
Metropolitan Metrolux 14 Theaters
UA Twin Peaks
Cinemark Fort Collins 16