For the past few years DisneyNature has successfully succeeded at presenting some decent documentaries revolved around (surprise!) nature, and with their newest release, "Chimpanzee", they don't shy away from the same beautiful material they've used before in previous documentaries. The reason I've decided not to video-review Chimpanzee and do a written-review instead is because this is a film where there isn't much to praise about. That doesn't mean the film is bad, don't get me wrong, but with nature documentaries there never is really much to say other than, "it was good" or "it had beautiful shots". This is major reason why I've missed out on reviewing "Earth", "Oceans", and "African Cats".
The reason I wanted to review Chimpanzee over these other DisneyNature releases is because I feel as though this film told the most beautiful story out of all of them so far. Personally, "African Cats" is my favorite of them all due to many different reasons having to do with direction and visuals, but "Chimpanzee" grasps that heart-felt story that really makes you care. You're brought into Oscar's world and from the start you are instantly involved with watching and enjoying the chimp life. When a raid of rival chimps invades Oscar's tribe of chimps, his mother goes missing and he finds himself all alone in the jungle. Not only is this tale a story told through this eyes of something different but this is also a story of survival. You're rooting for Oscar the entire time-and because you get so emotionally involved with the chimp, the film goes along the lines of great. Tim Allen's enthusiastic narration is pretty decent, as well.
Chimpanzee is a piece of perfect filmmaking. Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill have outdone themselves here. They have crafted up a beautiful piece of film that touches the heart completely. Along with them the cinematography team also deserves a round of applause from all audiences. Martyn Colbeck and Bill Wallauer's cinematography in Chimpanzee is absolutely astounding. Visually, Chimpanzee is a winner and totally worth the viewing. If you enjoyed "Earth" and "Oceans" because of how fantastic they looked, then imagine that times ten with a beautifully-told story. Yes, "Chimpanzee" is twice the nature documentary that Earth and Oceans were, even if those two films were better for educational purposes.
The film doesn't surpass last year's "African Cats", but it makes a good runner-up for the independent nature label from Walt Disney Studios. Since 2008 when the label was founded they've already released six beautiful documentaries ('Earth', 'Oceans', 'The Crimson Wing', 'African Cats', 'Pollen', and now Chimpanzee). "The Crimson Wing" and "Pollen" are the two from the label that didn't receive wide-releases but those are still worth checking out. I seriously cannot wait to see what DisneyNature has in store for us next Earth Day. Maybe a film about Polar Bears...I think that'd be pretty cool.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood