Directed by: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
Narrated by: Samuel L. Jackson
Distributed by: Disneynature
MPAA Rating: G
Running time: 89 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars
I have been a big fan of Disneynature’s films since “Earth” and look forward to them each Earth Day. What is different about this film is that it is categorized as a “true life adventure”, which means it actually follows a scripted story in a sense within the real-life footage. The film plays more like an action film than a documentary. It is packed with some good laughs and also some cover you nail moments and bite you nails. I think that film film take’s Disneynature’s series into a new direction.
The film focuses on a young lion cub named Mara being raised by her single mother, Layla. As well as a mother cheetah named Sita who is raising five newborns. Lastly we also follow Fang, the leader who is protecting his pride from a banished lion. Th animals are all put in situations where they must figure out the best way to survive. This is definitely one wild-ride and not just some boring documentary. The co-director Alastair Fothergill also worked on “Earth” and brings his unique vision and story to this film. I am very excited to see his next project with Disneynature called “Chimpanzees”, its looks really cute and funny.
The Blu-ray picture is fantastic and very clear. It is so beautiful that it easily captures every strand of hair from our animals as well as every blade of high grass in the Savannah. The sound is also superb and works well with Samuel L. Jackson’s narration. The special features on this disc are good but not stunning. This film took like five years to make so I was hoping for a backed extras section. The first is called “Filmmaker Annotations” it is a Picture-in-Picture experience with crew interviews, featurettes, additional clips, pop-up trivia and factoids. It is easily the best feature on the disc. “Disney & Nature” is quick feature which looks into the conservation projects and theme park attractions that Disney supports and offers. “Save the Savannah” focuses on the fund-raising associated with “African Cats” and their efforts to preserve lands in the Savannah. Jordan Sparks video is included for another song she did for Disney titled “The World I Knew”. Lastly their are some sneak previews for the next Disneynature film “Chimpanzee” and many more upcoming releases.