Earth Day 2012: Chimpanzee

Narrated by Tim Allen, Chimpanzee will take you on a wild adventure set deep in the African forests, a place hardly touched by mankind. A young carefree chimpanzee named Oscar thrives on his mother’s love, having the time of his life. Their tribe leader, Freddy, leads his followers in search of food. They travel into the unsafe territory of their stronger rivals, led by an intimidating chimpanzee named Scar. For generations, the land has been fought over by the two tribes, and Freddy’s tribe is in danger.

A frenzied battle ensues, leaving Oscar forever separated from his mom. He finds himself all alone, an orphan who has no one to teach him life skills. Miraculously, the most unlikely foster parent in the forest adopts Oscar, and together, they embark on a journey of love and friendship.

Disneynature captured stellar scenery – the mist shrouding the canopy of trees was simply picturesque. The African sunrise prompted a little girl beside me in the theater to softly hum the beginning of “Circle of Life”, the opening song of Lion King (coupled with the fact that the “bad” chimp was named Scar). The ingenious use of time-lapse cameras gave insight to the fact that the forest was a living, growing thing. Along with being a hero-and-villain type of movie, Chimpanzee was almost magical – Disneynature couldn’t help including the breath-taking shots of glow-in-the-dark fungi, sprouts rapidly shooting up, and mushrooms that smoked when touched by the rain.

Chimpanzee focuses on the personal aspects. The chimpanzees’ actions mirror what we do in life – caring for the young, using tools to find food, and enjoying life as it is. You will laugh time and time again at their lively frolics, which remind us to enjoy the journey. The adorable Oscar will have kids begging parents to buy a baby chimp for a pet.

As for language, there was one very out-of-place use of “idiot” in a joking, teasing way. The shaky cam style cut away the violence, resorting to a G rating. When Scar’s tribe attacked, I was shaken by the idea that chimpanzees, just like humans, fought each other. They beat the roots of trees to either announce their attack or victory, and the booming sound plus the frantic swelling of the orchestra may scare younger kids.

With every Disney movie, the moviemakers try to weave in a plot furnished with an adorably cute unassuming protagonist, a sinister villain thwarting plans, and a happily-ever-after type of ending. Even if the plot was a bit glazed over, it was a beautiful story nonetheless. The adoption of an orphan in any animal kingdom is quite something to see. Clearly, God has a heart for the orphans. Scripture says that God dwells in the hearts of the helpless. He shows His love for them in John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Offering amazing detail along with a heartfelt touch of emotion, Chimpanzee is not to be missed. Also, stay seated for the credits. There is a captivating brief behind-the-scenes camera roll about the filmmakers’ hardships – swarms of bugs, jagged, rough terrains, and torrents of rain. Everyone is smiling despite the challenges, and it shows the audience how hard they worked to bring this story to screen. Celebrate Earth Day 2012 with your family at the movie theaters!

First published @ http://ChristianAnswers.Net/spotlight/movies/2012/chimpanzee2012.html


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on April 22, 2012, in Movie Reviews, Star Rapture Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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