It may not have been the movie premiere at El Capitan with “Jessie” stars Skai Jackson and Peyton List but my daughters thought that the premiere of Chimpanzee was pretty amazing!
We arrived to find Radio Disney hard at work with songs, games and trivia from some of their favorite Disney channel shows. They even scored a couple of Chimpanzee books, which they immediately read on the way home.
CHIMPANZEE, is the story of Oscar, a baby chimpanzee part of a small family in Africa. Beloved by his mother you are taken through the journey of how very dependent he is on his family and his mother until he is old enough to care for himself.
Freddy is the “leader of the pack” the alpha chimpanzee who protects and serves his family, by keeping them safe and finding them food and shelter.
Scar arrives on the scene, an alpha male from another family of chimpanzees, attempting to take over the lush feeding grounds and territory of Oscar’s family.
In a documentary manner you and your family can learn about the joys and sorrows of Oscar and his family. Our entire family enjoyed the movie immensely, with the children leaving the theater talking about omnivore’s, and how baby chimps learned so much from their family just like “kids” did from their mommy and daddy.
Watch Oscar nurse at his mother’s breast and make his first attempts at climbing alone. See him learn how to crack open a nut, one of their main food sources and learn how to eat and survive in their jungle.
But the story of Oscar is so much more than the story of a Chimpanzee family. After the death of Oscar’s mother due to an attack on their land by the rival chimps in Scar’s “gang” Oscar found himself alone with no one to care for him even though he was in the midst of his whole “family.” Mother’s turned him away, having only enough to help their own children survive. His “friends” didn’t play with him, as if realizing that there was something different about him, or maybe jealously guarding their own survival.
Film makers and watchers found themselves suddenly in an unexpected experience as “Freddy” the alpha male takes on the job of protecting, feeding and caring for Oscar when no one else would. He didn’t just care for him, he loved him grooming him, feeding him and allowing him to ride on his back, a privilege normally only granted by mothers.
CHIMPANZEE was a movie truly for the whole family. Not only did the children (and the parents) learn a great deal about the world of Chimpanzees, but you also get to journey visually to a land far away, one that most people do not get the opportunity to enjoy.
The cinematography was amazing, not only in capturing the lives of the chimpanzees, but also the life of the jungle, from the ground to the sky. Narrator Tim Allen provided just the right balance of informative information as well as humor, suspense and danger at each segment of the movie.
But isn’t it scary for the children? No, it really wasn’t. While staying true to the nature of the story, DisneyNature managed to not only capture the lives of the CHIMPANZEE, but also avoid showing any of those scenes that could be frightening or overwhelming to small children. I admit, that they did such a good job that my DD (age 6) cried when she saw how alone Oscar was and clapped when Freddie took on the responsibility of his care. She wasn’t the only one in the theater, even adults were affected.
You knew what was happening during the war for the turf between the rival families of chimpanzees, but it wasn’t violent. You knew that Oscar’s mother was no longer with him (and older audience members know exactly why) but there was no scary scenes that children would take with them.
CHIMPANZEE is an honest, open, entertaining, educational look at the very tough world that chimpanzees must try to survive in, as well as an amazing opportunity to expose their endangered status and help raise much needed funds to protect them.
The girls came home grasping their DisneyNature books “CHIMPANZEE” and have read them three times since we saw the movie. What more does a parent need to know about how much their children love it?
See CHIMPANZEE and each ticket sold between April 20 – 26, 2012 will donate $0.20 to the Jane Goodall Institute.
In the first week that it is in theaters, Disney will donate a portion of every ticket sold to the Jane Goodall Institute. The Jane Goodall Institute, is an amazing organization whose sole goal is to save the Chimpanzees. Seeing the film will show you why this organizations effort is so very important to the continuing care and protection of these amazing animals.
The funds will help:
- Protect their home—the tropical forest;
- Educate the next generation; and
- Care for orphaned chimpanzees.