3 may. 2011

My Review: African Cats (6/10)


¨The hunters became the hunted.¨

It’s hard not to like a movie with lion and cheetah cubs running around in their natural habitat, and learning alongside their loving mothers how to survive in the dangerous environment of the Kenyan savanna. Disney Nature brings us a new wildlife documentary after the successful Earth which debuted in 2007. Alastair Fothergill is the director once again although this time he has a collaborator: Keith Scholey and the focus is primarily set on the wild cats. The film is beautifully shot and each scene is breathtaking. For those of us who can`t afford a safari to Africa, this is as close as we will get to these wild animals running around freely without bars to hold them back. It was fascinating and animal lovers will especially enjoy this, but it wasn`t anything I couldn`t watch on the National Geographic channel. Experiencing these majestic kings on the big screen is a plus however and I enjoyed my 80 minute safari across the African savanna. It would be too harsh and mean spirited to give this film a negative review because the cubs are just really cute.

Samuel L. Jackson is on board as the narrator of the film as he tells us the story of two separate families of cats and their struggle for survival. These animals are even given names and the shots are edited in order to create a story. On one hand we have a mother lioness that is protecting her cub, Mara, from a pride of lions from the North. Fang is the pride leader in the South, but he is being threatened by the leader on the other side who wants to expand his kingdom along with his now adult sons. A river infested with crocodiles divides the savanna so crossing from one side to the other is no easy task, however the risk is eminent. At the same time we have an interchanging parallel story as we follow Sita, a single mother of five cheetah cubs. She also is teaching her cubs how to survive in the wild, while at the same time protecting them from hyenas and other wild animals.

The story does feel forced at some points, but at least it adds a little dramatic effect to the picture. We get to experience a lot of hunts and chases, but the death scenes are cut off right away. The film is worth a watch due to the incredible footage as we get to experience the adventures of wildlife. I wouldn`t sit through this film a second time and I probably would have found something similar on the National Geographic, Animal Planet or Discovery channels, but I just can`t give this documentary a negative review.





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