Chimpanzee

"Good"

Chimpanzee Review


Disney shamelessly plays the cute card here, turning what could be a revealing documentary into something almost painfully adorable. We can't help but smile and sigh all the way through this delightful adventure, even though everything has been bent to make these wild creatures as human as possible. Frankly, this does a huge disservice to the realities of nature. But it does make the film a lot more engaging.

The camera crew traveled to the deepest rainforests of Ivory Coast in West Africa, where they follow a young monkey they name Oscar. He's being raised by his loving mother Isha, who teaches him how to crack nuts, collect berries and mash his fruit. Their clan is led by the aloof but benevolent Freddy, who helps protect them from outside threats. The main danger comes from a neighbouring valley, where the greedy Scar leads his band of thuggish chimps on raids into Freddy's peaceful paradise. And when Isha is killed in one of these attacks, Oscar struggles to fit in with his extended family. With nothing to lose, he turns to Freddy himself, with unexpected results.

There's a genuinely amazing story at the heart of this film: alpha males almost never adopt scruffy under-aged orphans as their own. And the growing bond between Oscar and Freddy is astonishing to watch. But then Oscar is so relentlessly cuddly that he'd probably even melt Scar's heart given half the chance. Unfortunately, the filmmakers paint Scar as pure evil, vilifying him so completely that they actually undermine the law of the jungle. And all of this is further manipulated by Allen's trite narration and an annoyingly obvious score.

The filmmakers briefly touch on some more interesting elements of life in the rainforest, such as Freddy's remarkably tactical attack on another monkey species. But the on-screen violence is kept to a minimum (it looks like Oscar is eating chicken rather than a neighbour). All of this is shot so beautifully that it's worth seeing on the largest screen possible. But be warned: Disney has carefully crafted this movie to make you want to buy a plush toy version of Oscar. And they're very good at what they do.

Rich Cline



Chimpanzee

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 78 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th April 2012

Production compaines: Disneynature

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield

Producer: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, Alix Tidmarsh

Starring: as narrator

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.