Oscar is sweet. He’s a little mischievious but he’s got a face that melts your heart! The newest “true life” adventure from Disneynature follows the adventures of this curious young chimpanzee deep in the jungles in Africa.
CHIMPANZEE is a richly photographed film that takes the audience on a journey in Oscar’s young life. He’s warm, funny and darn clever – much like our own kids! We are introduced to Oscar, his mother, and extended family going about their daily lives. It’s a remarkable view of their society from gathering foods to learning how to use nature’s tools.
Tim Allen narrates the story with his easy going voice. I’m feeling like we’re sitting on a porch on a hot summer’s day while he tells the tales – kind of like how Grandpa does.
But the story goes from the jungle playground to scenes of confrontation and conflict when Oscar’s group, lead by alpha male Freddie, is faced with a rival band of chimpanzees.
The scenes are heart-pounding and loud – but brief. After all, it’s Disney remember so you don’t have to worry about blood splatters. Situations are implied without much gore involved. The misty-eye moment comes when Oscar realized that his mother was not around for him anymore. Disney was careful to not flat out to say that she died instantly in a conflict however, the story later reveals that it was possible that her life was taken by other forces in the jungle that took advantage of her battle wounds and displacement from the rest of the group.
Once Oscar realizes that his mom isn’t returning, he attempts to recall what she taught him. However, he soon discovers that if he’s going to survive, he will still needs an adult to guide him. The story turns to an unsuspecting character that takes over the nurturing role.
I won’t give out anymore than that but I will say that it’s a MUST SEE.
The dramatic sweeping views of the jungles are rich in colour and beauty. Ground level photography captures every moving detail in an almost 3D quality. Throughout the movie you’ll wonder how can the film crew possibly get THAT close to the primates without interfering in their lives.
Bill Wallauer, Principal Photographer, was in town during the North American Premiere of Disneynature’s CHIMPANZEE at the TIFFKids Film Festival Opening Night screening to talk about his experience working on this film.
Bill has spent over 15 years working closely with chimpanzees for the Jane Goodall Institute. He explained that the chimpanzees weren’t threatened by the camera crew. There seems to be a mutual respect and he credits Jane Goodall. The scientists and researchers with her foundation have been observing and researching chimpanzees for years and have earned the trust in the jungle.
Mr. Wallauer also told the audience of some very interesting bits about his experience filming in the jungles.
~ It took the crew 3 years to capture all the footage for this film – off and on depending on the seasons.
~ Each time they went to Africa to film, they had to go into quarantine for a couple weeks before entering the jungle so they wouldn’t bring any human diseases or infections into the jungle.
~Nose/mouths masks were worn when they were close to the chimpanzees to minimize contact.
~The fighting scenes are much more violent and louder than what was shown in the movie.
~ No mention of who Oscar’s father is but Freddie, the Alpha Male, could possibly be his dad but they don’t know for sure – DNA testing would need to prove that. He’s probably also dad to several others. Hmmm.
Disneynature’s CHIMPANZEE is a great way to celebrate Earth Day with the family. Try and see it this coming week – part of the proceeds from the first week’s of ticket sales will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute.
In 1960, at the age of 26, Dr. Jane Goodall moved from England to what is known today as Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. With no more than a notebook and binoculars she earned the trust of these shy creatures. Throughout the years she’s managed to give the public a glimpse of their strange but familiar seeming lives. We’re still fascinated today.
Now, Dr. Goodall’s work continues to inspire action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees. The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of the Gombe National Park in Tanzania. She’s invited to speak around the world. I’ve only seen her on television interviews and she’s an incredibly patient, soft spoken woman who is so inspiring. Truly someone who is famous for all the right reasons!
Please visit the Jane Goodall Institute’s official website at www.janegoodall.org for more information about her remarkable passion and dedication to our world.