Happy Earth Day! With its sweeping and epic cinematography and its stunning subjects, African Cats delivers nature as only Disneynature can. The stories of two groups of African felines – lions and cheetahs – are captured with breathtaking precision and beauty in what can only be described as a visual feast for the eyes. With narration by Samuel L. Jackson, the cast of characters comes to life with personalities, names, and story arcs that help the audience empathize with their many trials and tribulations.
For me the narration was a bit overbearing and on-the-nose at times. Not that I have any issue with Samuel L. Jackson; he did a great job with what he was given. But there were moments when I felt the narration wasn’t necessary; I felt that the images told the story far better than the spoken narration was able to.
This was especially true during dramatic or tragic moments in the film. Clearly what is taking place needs no narration to explain it. I know that this is targeted at a young audience, but even they can sense when animals are sad, scared, happy, or enveloped in tragedy.
As for the rest of the film: fantastic. It’s a wonderful look at these animals in their natural habitat. Even with the G-rating, it still contains plenty of suspense, action, and moments of violence (hunting and killing) to really make it feel real and not completely sanitized. I think the Disneynature series of films does a fine job at balancing the complex and oftentimes violent world of the animal kingdom with engaging and uplifting stories for kids and adults to enjoy.
I am still amazed at how these filmmakers get so close to the action without becoming part of the events taking place or the next item on the menu. These are definitely skilled documentary filmmakers who take great care to ensure that their subjects get to do what they are meant to do without interruption by man.
I really enjoyed African Cats. The animals showcased are fascinating, the backdrop is beautiful, and the film’s score is also great. I recommend African Cats!
Disneynature’s African Cats is in theaters now!
What was your favorite moment in African Cats? Leave a comment and let us know!