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African Cats

by TerriAnn

Have you heard of the new Disneynature movie coming out on Friday 4/22, “African Cats“? The film follows life on the savanna for a family of lions and the very different experience of a mother cheetah with her cubs. Samuel L. Jackson narrates the entire film.

We had a chance to see it on Monday and, let me tell you, the footage is just amazing. There are so many scenes that caused me to think, “How did they film that?!” There is one part where the camera follows the mother cheetah on the hunt and she is in complete focus the entire time. Other angles and settings are so unique and breathtaking that you can’t help but be in awe of these majestic creatures and the natural beauty of the land.

The way this movie was presented is a little different than one would expect, which could be either a good or bad thing. If you are looking for a raw documentary or even a showcase of cinematography, this is not it. But that is not what “African Cats” assumes to be. Rather, it is a family movie that can inspire appreciation and the strength of family bonds.

The narration is not meant to inform and educate you. Jackson does a good job of restating what happens and humanizing the behavior to better understand it. It is so nice to not have to hear your child say “What happened?” or “I don’t get it” every five minutes. Plus, he makes it just plain fun at times. I would view this more as wholesome entertainment than scientific discovery.

This has to be one of my favorite scenes:

There are hunting and eating scenes but they are done tastefully (no pun intended) and are not gruesome. Though you understand what happens, you never actually see any of the animals dying. This is a movie about nature and wild animals. Parents of young ones need to make sure that their child understands that animals do eat each other to survive and some die. Aside from that, this is a joy to watch with people of all ages.


During the film’s opening week (April 22-28), a portion of the proceeds from that week’s ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna. The AWF will be working to protect the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife.

The film, which will be released in theaters worldwide, opens in North America on April 22, 2011. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are already available in the United States by calling 1-888-DISNEY6. Tickets are also available online at www.disney.com/africancats.

There are also a number of innovative online efforts underway that allow moviegoers to pledge their commitment to the film and in doing so, support the cause.

  • Like Disneynature on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Disneynature
  • Pledge to see “African Cats” on Eventful: http://eventful.com/africancats
  • Join the “African Cats” grassroots community and donate to the African Wildlife Foundation on Causes: http://www.causes.com/africancats
  • Buy tickets through Disney Tickets Together: http://apps.facebook.com/ticketstogether/

An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, “African Cats” captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Oscar®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons. Disneynature brings “The Lion King” to life on the big screen in this True Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill (“Earth”). An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, “African Cats” leaps into theatres on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. For more information about the movie and the “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” initiative, check out Disney.com/AfricanCats.

Disclosure: I was invited to and attended a free advance screening to facilitate this review, which contains 100% my honest opinion.

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