Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True-Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimp named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest.
The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimps, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever.
When I hear the word "Disney," the first word that comes to mind is magic, and that's exactly what Disneynature's Chimpanzee is - magic.
Magic in the sense that the film reveals that magic can take place anytime, anywhere, when you least expect it, just as it happened during the filming of Chimpanzee, which is narrated by Tim Allen.
In the movie, we're introduced to a group of chimpanzees, which include Oscar, the adorable star of the film, Isha, his mom, and Freddy, the group's alpha male leader.
We watch as Oscar grows and learns how to do things he needs to survive, such as climb trees, forage for food, and crack open nuts.
We learn so many facts about Oscar and the other chimpanzees (it was so interesting to discover what kind of meat they consume!), but we also learn a lot about the African forest they live in, as well as other creatures that call the forest home.
In the forest the chimpanzees face many dangers, not only from predators, but also from rival chimpanzees, with which they battle over territory for food.
After one such battle with a rival group of chimps, Isha becomes hurt and eventually does not survive, leaving Oscar to fend for himself.
***Spoiler alert*** -- if you've seen the Chimpanzee trailer or watched any of the other Chimpanzee videos online, it's obvious who becomes Oscar's new parental figure, but if you haven't seen the trailer or any of the videos you may not want to read further.
He struggles to find food and his demise seems inevitable, but then the magic happens - the least powerful chimp, Oscar, is "adopted" by the most powerful chimp, Freddy.
The bond that is created between the two chimps is beyond what anyone ever expected to happen, and with Freddy's help, Oscar is able to thrive and grow.
Although there were a few skin-crawling scenes (think thousands - possibly millions of ants), and a few battles that startled Smiley, our entire family enjoyed the movie, especially the many lighthearted and humorous moments. Watching some of the chimps try to crack open nuts with rocks and branches was amusing, and watching them "play" with their food while chewing drew lots of laughs (Smiley loved watching how the chimps would eat their food - he kept saying "good eating!").
I thought Tim Allen was an interesting choice as narrator - he did a nice job, and his little reference to Home Improvement was quite funny.
Although I thought the film would focus a lot more on the bond between Freddy and Oscar, I found the movie very engrossing, as well as visually stunning and highly educational.
After the movie ends, be sure to stay back to see extra clips of the chimps and to see a bit of what the crew endured to document Oscar's journey.
Chimpanzee is a wonderful family movie. It touches upon so many subjects in a single movie, including perseverance, resourcefulness, and compassion, and it simply showcases and captures nature's beauty in a way that only Disney can.
Chimpanzee opens in theaters nationwide today, April 20, and if you purchase tickets during opening week (through April 26), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute to protect wild chimpanzees.
Thank you to the sponsor for providing the tickets to the advance screening for review purposes.
Gem is a Hawaii Mom Blogger who posts reviews and giveaways, and blogs about life in Hawaii as a mom of 3 boys, including one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She loves to travel, bake, and eat anything with chocolate.