The new Disneynature documentary Born in China explores the family lives of snow leopard cubs, a baby panda and some lively young monkeys. And actor-filmmaker John Krasinski jumped at the chance to provide the voiceover narration. "I actually got a call that Disney was interested in me, particularly for this," Krasinski says.

Baby Monkey sticking out his tongueA baby Monkey sticking out his tongue

"I've seen all the Disneynature movies and I find them so incredibly emotional. I find myself bonding to these characters unbelievably, so I was thrilled. But then I got really nervous, because the people who've done it before me are Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, John C. Reilly - people who are pretty good at what they do!"

The film was shot and edited by the time Krasinski came on board, so he was able to watch it while recording his narration. "It's just so beautiful," he says. "Someone asked me, 'Do you think you have the cutest animals in your movie?' I said yeah, but I think it's cheating when you have a baby panda. So I apologise to Meryl and Morgan and John C. Reilly, but at the end of the day, I have a baby panda!"

Baby MeiMeiMeiMei the baby panda

Krasinski thinks that the key to Disneynature's success is assembling films so that audience members can identify with the animals. "It's almost immediate," he says. "You start assigning human emotion and human decision-making to these animals. And then with the baby monkey and the little girl, to have this teen that is written like any other Hollywood part a teenager would have, it's like hilariously specific and something that all of us can relate to and understand."

But even with the comical and dramatic moments, Krasinski says that it's the way Disney keeps everything real that makes it memorable. "What's so beautiful about these movies," he says, "is that they have such deference and respect for these creatures and for the landscapes in which they live. I realise this is one of the reasons why I love these movies so much: they don't pander to anyone."

Krasinski wishes he could have actually interacted with the animals in the film. "I'm a big nature nut," he confesses. "Before I went to college, I actually went to Costa Rica and taught English down there, and on weekends traveled all around the country. The ecosystems there are unlike anything in the world. So you have rainforest, pine forest, all this incredible marine life, active volcanos, so I was in heaven. I was trying to get as close to these animals as I possibly could, even if it meant being totally dangerous."

Watch the trailer and clips for Born In China:

A rarely seen Snow Leopard Born In China Mum and daughter play Mum and daughter cuddle MeiMei in Born In China A little monkey sees the snow for the first time The monkey babies are a highlight in Born In China An adult snub nose golden monkey A beautiful snow leopard

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