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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

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...

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.