Disneynature reaches its potential with African Cats

Earlier this week, I had the chance to take in Disneynature’s latest “True Life Adventure”, African Cats, which opens on the big screen tomorrow.

This film shows the lives of these two fascinating species—lion and cheetah—and the majestic place where they live in breathtaking, nearly-epic fashion. Unlike last year’s Disneynature release, Oceans, it’s also a thoroughly contemporary nature doc.

(I say this having recently seen the beautiful and so-cute-it-should-be-illegal Born to be Wild 3D, which set the bar very high for ‘Cats‘.)

Samuel L. Jackson brings a refreshing energy to his narration and succeeds at building audience attachment to each of the ‘characters’—Fang, Kali, Mara, Layla, Sita and her cubs.

There’s a certain pathos reflected in the struggle of these creatures to survive and filmmakers Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill don’t shy away from using it to make a great film. But there’s also good dose of humor—just ask the aardvarks.

The score, a fitting match to the imposing visuals on screen, caps things off, tickling with a few notes from The Lion King along the way.

Everything considered, Disneynature reaches its potential with African Cats.


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About Mike Bastoli

Mike Bastoli has been blogging at The Disney Blog since 2009. Until 2011, he covered Pixar Animation Studios on his own website, The Pixar Blog, which became one of the most popular on the Web dedicated to Pixar news, the New York Times calling it the “definitive unofficial chronicler of the animation powerhouse". In 2011, Mike expanded his coverage to the entire world of feature animation, renaming his site Big Screen Animation. He retired Big Screen Animation in 2014 and is considering future writing opportunities. Besides Disney, Mike is an avid fan of Apple and The Beatles. He resides near Toronto.
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3 Responses to Disneynature reaches its potential with African Cats

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  3. I loved African Cats, but I did not love its negative portrayal of hyenas. After depicting them as villains in both African Cats and The Lion King, Disney should make a nature film that’s all about hyenas. That way Disney fans will both learn more about them and find a way to view these amazing, intelligent creatures as something other than evil monsters.

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