Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
As a kid I used to love those Disney wildlife films, often narrated by former cowboy star Rex Allen. They told me about the desert and the ocean and faraway jungles.
Today we have Disneynature, a more sophisticated filmmaking unit of the house Mickey Mouse built. An independent film label of The Walt Disney Company, it was founded in 2008 specifically to release nature documentaries.
So far, it has given us “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and a couple of other notable wildlife excursions.
This time out, Disneynature has teamed up with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring us a real-life story about a chimpanzee in the tropical jungles of Uganda.
Christophe Boesch, head of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, served as the film’s principal consultant. Former BBC Natural History Unit staffers Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield co-directed.
We follow Oscar, a young chimp who has been abandoned, tracking his survival until he is adopted by another ape. Anthropomorphism is a word for ascribing human characteristics to animals. I’d suggest that chimpanzees share these traits with us, no “humanizing” necessary to relate to Oscar and the other chimps we meet in this excellent documentary.
“Chimpanzee” is playing at the Tropic Cinema. And thanks to a generous patron who partially funded the showing, children will be admitted at a substantial ticket discount during the first week.