Blu-ray Review “Disneynature’s Chimpanzee”

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
Narrated by: Tim Allen
MPAA Rating: G
Distributed by: Walt Disney Video
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Running Time: 78 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I look forward to Disneynature’s films every Earth Day for the last few years. This year’s installment “Chimpanzee” has been my most anticipated. Well, let’s say that I was very impressed with the film. It takes more story approach and really delves into the lives of these Chimps. It feels more like a movie and less like a documentary. Tim Allen’s narration provides a great narrative and gets a bunch of great laughs as well. Disney does not disappoint with its Blu-ray presentation, as always. This film look glorious in its 1080p transfer. It also packs a wallop in its fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. Fans of the Disneynature series will enjoy this film for sure and I sure hope that they are planning to continue this series.

Film Synopsis: “From Disneynature, the studio that brought you “Earth,” “Oceans,” and “African Cats,” comes “Chimpanzee” — a remarkable story of individual triumph and family bonds. Journey deep into the African forest and meet Oscar, an adorable young chimp with an entertaining approach to life. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps who love creating mayhem. His playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Stunning hi-definition images bring you up close and personal as Oscar and his family navigate the complex territory of the forest. It’s an inspiring and life-changing adventure that overflows with courage and charm. And it will capture your heart.”

This release is jam-packed with special features and the following are exclusive only to the Blu-ray release. “On Location: The Making of Chimpanzee” includes a series of short featurettes that tells what in the great lengths that the filmmakers went to tell the story of Oscar and his chimpanzee family. “30 Years in the Making” includes the story of the team of researchers who have been observing chimpanzees in the Ivory Coast for 30 years. “The Heart of the “Chimpanzee”” is a great behind-the-scenes featurettes on how and why the film was made. “Piece of the Puzzle” is an amazing two-hour daily trek from one of the cameramen in order to hike through the forest to get to the chimpanzees. “Don’t Blame the Tool” is a funny feature how chimpanzees’ use rocks as tools to prepare their food. One of the funniest scenes in the movie BTW. “Scar’s Army” looks into the struggles between the film’s two rival chimpanzee groups who share the same forest home. “Camp Invaders” switches focus to the creepy, crawly creatures found at the filmmakers’ forest camp. “Forest of Bees” goes into detail on how the crew spent two days wading through a sea of bees in order to capture 20 seconds of footage. Lastly there is a music video for song rise from McClain Sisters and also a behind-the-scenes look into the shoot.

The following extras are the only extras included on the DVD, but are also on the Blu-ray. “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees” focuses on the conservation program and how Disneynature will make a donation to JGI to protect chimpanzees today and tomorrow with the purchase of this release. The feature also includes an interview with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. “Disney’s Friends for Change—This” highlights Disney’s Friends for Change program, that showcases steps that kids and families can take to make a positive impact on the world and the people and animals that live there. “Disney’s Conservation Legacy” look into the conservation efforts that Disney sponsors around the world.

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