Released: 20 April 2012, Disneynature
Narrated by: Tim Allen
3 stars (out of 4)
Chimpanzee is the epic true-life story of a young chimpanzee named Oscar and his adventures in the African forest he calls home. With his mother Isha by his side, Oscar is learning how to live and survive in the depths of the forest. But when a raid by a rival band of chimpanzees leaves Oscar motherless, an unexpected savior takes Oscar under his wing.
With the adorable Oscar as the focus, Disneynature unveils its fourth full-length nature documentary Chimpanzee just in time for Earth Day (April 22, 2012). Oscar is just a baby in the chimpanzee family that roams a tropical forest in Africa, and he is starting to learn the skills he will need to survive. From hunting for food and learning the best way to break open a nut to making a bed in the treetops, Oscar sticks close to his mother’s side. But a rival chimpanzee group led by Scar is trying to invade Oscar’s territory to take over the nut grove that keeps them fed. A surprise raid by Scar leads to the death of Oscar’s mother, and suddenly this baby is on his own. After several weeks of attempting to find an adoptive mother in the chimpanzee band, Oscar is unexpectedly taken in by alpha male Freddy. With Freddy’s attention divided between guarding the family and raising Oscar, Scar makes a final attempt to take over the nut grove. Will he succeed?
I found the adventures of Oscar to be entertaining and very informative. I never knew that chimpanzees actually eat meat, or how difficult it can be to open a nut. A strategic monkey hunt shows the incredible teamwork of Oscar’s family and the complex thought that goes into the planning. Working with basic tools such as tree branches and rocks, the chimpanzees are able to gather insects and break the nuts to eat. It was rather fascinating to watch their constant search for food. The love and care mother Isha showed for Oscar was heartwarming; the incredible patience she showed was inspiring. Her loss could have meant the end of Oscar as well, but when Freddy finally stepped up and took over Oscar’s care his future was assured. The violence of the animal kingdom is handled delicately, either happening off-screen (Isha’s death) or with trees and branches blocking the view (such as in the monkey hunt). (more…)