You’ve never heard a lion roar like this! Disneynature’s African Cats lept into theaters Earth Day 2011. Filmed entirely in the wilds of Kenya, this film dazzles the senses. You’ll experience, close up high definition footage of sinister crocodiles lurking in murky riverbeds, mud-faced wart hogs running for their very lives & lethal rhinos twitching their ears & always on the hunt. Those jungle citizens provide an incredible backdrop to the star predators, the African Cats.
The documentary focuses on lions & cheetahs. Sita, is the mother cheetah who’s raising & protecting her five cubs. Then there’s a den of lions headed up by the King of the Beasts, Fang. The moniker was bestowed after a brutal battle which left him with a broken, dangling tooth. There’s a rival lion, Cali with his capable & ferocious sons.
Through the seasons, we discover hunting patterns, techniques & tendencies. Parents & guardians take caution. Hunting scenes showcase nature’s brutality with unforgettable images which include, the chase & the takedown, dead animal carcasses having their meat stripped off, bloody cats devouring & digging in, cheetah cubs being hunted in the night by hungry hyenas. I’d say any kids under the age of seven would be scared out of their skins.
My favorite image is a silhouette of, of all things, a vulture, sitting in a tree within the full moon illuminating the background. Striking. African Cats made me also realize how ‘On Point’ Disney Animators were way back when they created animation for “The Lion King” in 1994. “The Circle of Life,” the wildebeest stampede, the rivalry between prides & brothers. There are so many parallels it’s hard to keep count. Kudos to the film crew who must endured 2 1/2 years of filming in this harsh habitat. Time, dedication & lots of sacrifice. To me, that’s where you get your money’s worth.
“African Cats” is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
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