Primates delight audiences
Film captures chimps in natural habitat
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 19:05
Walt Disney himself couldn’t have scripted “Chimpanzee” any better.
“Chimpanzee,” the nature documentary released April 20 from Disney, is filled with beautiful photography and stunning visuals captured in an African rain forest, along with a fascinating glimpse into a wild chimpanzee society.
Packed with surprises, “Chimpanzee” elevates the long Disney tradition of nature films while still following its original formula.
Tim Allen narrates the documentary and, of course, there are some of his trademark grunts and a joke about power tools. But the narration and storyline are soon overwhelmed by the startling reality of chimpanzees’ lives in the wild.
Chimpanzees share 98 percent of the human genetic code, and it’s touchingly clear right from the beginning with this film.
Chimps also live in clans in the rain forest, and those clans actually go to war over land and the food it holds. “Chimpanzee” is the story of two clans, and it features two actual battle scenes.
But more than a war story, “Chimpanzee” is also about one baby chimp’s fight for survival. That would be Oscar, a tiny, tenacious tyke who is orphaned after the first battle between the clans.
Life is one constant search for food. The chimps’ diet consists of fruit, insects, honey and even monkeys, which they hunt in the rain forest in an incredibly sophisticated manner.
The photography is nothing less than breathtaking. A lot of the pictures focus on the overwhelming beauty of the African locations, but directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, both documentary veterans, use time-lapse photography to capture all types of wonders.