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April 15, 2012

Get The Scoop On Where and When You Can See The Movie, Plus Free Educators Guides and Activity Books

By: Reviewed by Harold Rosenthal
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Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. The movie is rated G, and it arrives in theaters on April 20, 2012, just in time for Earth Day.

To find Movie times and buy tickets click HERE

The movie is about chimpanzee Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery that showcases the Chimpanzees intelligence and ingenuity and extraordinary personalities. Working together, Oscar’s Chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest.


This week, we had a chance to check out this movie before it is released to the public and I took my daughters (ages 7 and 4) to see the movie at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.  As is always the case at the El Capitan, Thirty minutes before show time, an organist is raised from beneath the stage an plays Disney favorites When he finished he was lowered into the floor.

However, what was very special about seeing the movie at the El capitan is that after the Organist finished, a couple of animal trainers came on stage and showed the audience various wild animals, and for those in the back they were displayed larger than life on the screen live. They showed us and told us about a hedgehog, a turtle, a porcupine, a red hawk, a snow wolf, and a baby alligator.  Between animals they took questions from the audience about each animal.  My seven year old was excited that she was able to ask one of the questions.

Then it was time for the movie. All of us from age 4 and up thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  My daughters were wrapped up in the emotional ups and downs of the movie and really had a good time.  Unlike the nature movies from my youth, this was narrated like a story instead of a lecture on animal behaviors.  This had the effect of creating an emotional bond with the animals. 

Be warned there were times when it was scary, sad, happy, heartwarming, and triumphant.  In the movie you see how animals in nature really behave in their societies.  They work, play, teach, use tools, fight and have wars over territory much as humans do.  We watched as Oscar, the young Chimpanzee grew and learned then had to recover after losing his mother, Isha.  The male leader of the “team”, Freddy, adopted him which apparently is quite unusual among Chimpanzees.  We saw a rival Chimpanzee “team”  and the movie featured a war over a specific territory (a nut grove). 

We really loved the cinematography.  The views were breathtaking; the rainforest where the chimpanzees live is absolutely beautiful.  The use of time lapse photography to show the passage of time and the change in the natural environment was very effective.  The background music created just the right emotion for each scene.

Tim Allen served as the Narrator.  He blended the right level of information and humor to keep the story flowing and the audience involved.  There were even some references to “Home Improvement” which caused the adults in the audience to laugh but went unnoticed by children.  It was a wonderful  movie for young and old alike.

For every moviegoer who sees “Chimpanzee” during the film’s opening week (April 20-26, 2012), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to protect chimpanzees today and tomorrow. To learn more about JGI, please visit www.janegoodall.org

To download a Chimpanzee Educators Guide click on the image:

To download a Chimpanzee Activity Book for your child click on the image:
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