G-S-T Review…Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee is a heartwarming documentary filmed by the dedicated crew of Disneynature, an independent film label of The Walt Disney Company.  The film was co-produced by Disneynature and the Jane Goodall Institute, directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield and narrated by Tim Allen. It is the fourth original film from Disneynature.  The film was shot over three years in the tropical jungles of the Ivory Coast and Uganda.  During the filming process the unimaginable happens…Oscar loses his mother and is eventually “adopted” by a fully-grown male chimpanzee.

Most people would see the trailer or poster for this movie and skip right over it. It’s unfortunate, because this really is a good movie.  If you have children, you will appreciate this movie even more.  The phenomenal camera work and breathtaking landscapes are enough to stand on their own.  Let alone the heartwarming story of Oscar, the baby chimpanzee.  What an exceptional story Disneynature was able to tell, which most of us will never see in a lifetime.  Chimpanzee grabs you from the beginning, keeps you engaged and tugs on your heart strings along the way.

If you have concerns, as a parent, as to whether or not to see this movie, you should definitely bring your children.  First of all, it’s rated G, plus despite the trailer making it seem somewhat sad, the movie really is wonderful. Children of all ages should take the time to enjoy this film.  You simply cannot walk away from this film without feeling something.  There really is no other way of saying how well Disneynature did with this film.  The cinematography, the score and the years of hard work really come to life on the big screen.

Chimpanzee’s directors, Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, are both seasoned veterans in the world of nature documentaries.  Between the pair of them, they have directed/produced Earth, The Blue Planet, African Cats, Frozen Planet, Planet Earth and many more.  If you watch some of the trailers about how Chimpanzee was made you will have a much greater appreciation for it.  The film was shot over three years, and it involved all day hikes over treacherous terrain to gather this footage.  To pull off this film it took dedication, professionalism and a true sense of purpose.  Kudos to the team of Chimpanzee for capturing this remote part of the world/nature and playing it out on the big screen.

The film is narrated by Tim Allen, who needs to no introduction.  Tim does an incredible job of taking something that could have otherwise been boring and breathes new life into the events unfolding on the screen.  Some might believe otherwise, but it takes a true talent to narrate a film like this and draw people into the story itself.  Tim Allen does a wonderful job and his narration does nothing if not enhance the overall experience.  Tim also draws from his TV show days and sneaks in and Tool Time grunt, which is quite amusing.

G-S-T RULING:

While Chimpanzee will not be a blockbuster hit, it is an endearing film you should take the whole family to see.  Granted the movie is a documentary, but it feels like so much more than that.  Chimpanzee isn’t your average History channel documentary; it has a unique charm.  There is a reason this film was marketed and released in theaters.  There are so many things to like about this film, that you should give it a chance.

If you’ve seen the movie already, please share your thoughts below. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it…then come back and talk about it.