Disneynature's "African Cats" Movie Review - Toronto Teacher Mom

Disneynature's "African Cats" Movie Review

Sunday, April 24, 2011



This Earth Day saw the premiere of Disneynature's African Cats, a True Life Adventure narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Following the lives of Sita the Cheetah, mother of five, Layla the Lion and her cub Mara, and the notorious Fang, leader of the pride, the film provides a breathtaking look into the circle of life on the Savanna.

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada


African Cats is replete with stunning video and imagery. The majestic landscape of the Masai Mara National Reserve alone makes it worth the while to watch the movie on the big screen. From sunrise to sunset, the beauty of the land is wonderfully captured in this film.

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada

The cats who call the Savanna their home each possess a beauty of their own. The slow-motion frames gracefully capture their strength, agility and stunning physical features. Of particular note are the cheetah and lion cubs who, so innocent and unaware of the dangers they will face, sent the audience oohing and aahing on more than one occasion. Watching them as they grew up also allowed the viewers to empathize with them and their mothers during some of the more difficult scenes.

While the narration provided some necessary tidbits of information, both myself and my sister-in-law agreed that it did not seem to fit the movie. She felt that the narration was more suited for a younger crowd while the actual movie and storyline was more befitting of a mature crowd. I, on the other hand, felt that there was almost too much narration but thought that African Cats could be suitable for children as young as seven or eight. There weren't any terribly gruesome scenes but there were indeed some scenes that would have frightened my 5-year-old. We also agreed that, even though we're both Jackson fans, his narration was overdone and disappointing. My sister-in-law struggled to find a reason for the awkward narration, contemplating whether or not Jackson ever watched the film before recording his narration. On a side note, we also kept laughing when we recalled the shots taken of the lions' behind. The king's jewels were predominantly on enlarged display during a couple of the scenes. I, personally, could have lived without that imagery.

All in all, I would recommend African Cats simply based on the quality of the footage. The story itself has enough substance to it and is easy to follow, though it might be better enjoyed if you can tune out some of the narration.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend an advance screening of African Cats to help facilitate this review. I was not compensated in any way. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting! I've been considering going to see this. Just saw the Sudbury IMAX show Born to Be Wild and really loved it.

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  2. I have yet to see an IMAX show. Born to Be Wild sounds like a good one.

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  3. Nice review - I really didn't know what the movie was about - but love lions. TFS. New follower (twitter & blog) from the Great Canadian Blog Hop. I invite you to check out my blog _ I have a free handmade card offer on my blog click here for details
    Hugs ~ Jacqueline

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  4. Sounds like an interesting movie. I think my boys will love it.

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  6. I am an American that has lived and worked in Africa over 15yrs, now currently living in Kenya where DisneyNature African Cats was filmed. I was disappointed that it was not shown here in Nairobi, but no matter what the narration, I can't imagine it to be anything but great, getting to experience this adventure first hand whenever I choose, and in photos...you can't help sometimes getting the lions "family jewels" or the plumbing on the male elephants....can't wait to see it upfront and personal!! The death of any animal saddens me, but my Kenyan friends are quick to remind me.....This is the circle of life....

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  7. Thank you for your comments and for sharing your point of view!

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