Born in China Review

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Disney pays homage to nature with this beautiful documentary

Born in China is Disney’s attempt at a nature documentary. Being that they are inspired by the animals in nature for so many of their films, it only seems fitting that they would do a feature film focused on these majestic creatures.  The thing is, we don’t get many of these types of movies in the cinema if at all.  There is the concern that this movie might be better suited for Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel than your local theater.  Being that it has the Disney namesake behind it, there is some draw due to that however.

Born in China takes place in China obviously. It is tale that follows that follows three different animal families in the wilderness of China.  The first is a snow leopard and her cubs.  The second is a panda and its cub.  The last group is a group of golden monkeys.  We are taken through their journey to live through the four seasons.  We witness their struggles to obtain food, to learn to climb, or to avoid other predators.   Other animals get some spotlight, but those three animals are the main narrative focus.

All of this is very beautifully filmed. The vast Chinese landscape is awe inspiring and breath taking.  Sure, you can see this on the Discovery channel but seeing it on the big screen is a sight to behold.  Sometimes it seems like another planet.  It is incredible stuff.  The animals are adorable.  These are dangerous creatures but they are so cuddly from a safe distance.  The tale is narrated by John Krasinski, formerly of The Office.  His familiar voice is a nice touch as it helps to bring the audience closer with the production in a sense and adds some humor to the table.

Family is emphasized strongly in this film. It is of course very touching, if not over the top and forced.  That being said, I still felt emotional watching this.  As this film moves along, the animals seem to become strangely human.  It’s very bizarre but interesting.  There is a human perspective used to explain possibly random acts but it works so you go with it.  Sure, they are animals, but they still are living beings fighting for survival.  There is cycle of life and death which is eloquently explained.  This poetry in motion is certainly worth catching on the big screen I would say.  Young ones will really like this one.  Perhaps children are whom this movie is best suited for, but anyone who really loves animals will love this as well.

Grade: B

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