Sunday, May 13, 2012

Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield: Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee, Walt Disney Pictures, 2012.

Reveling in the glory of nature as usual, Disney's new wildlife doc, Chimpanzee, doesn't do very much that's original, but what it does it does right.

Essentially culling the main plot points from Disney's own animated masterpiece, Bambi, we are thrust by avid directors Fothergill and Linfield, into a lush, breathtaking world of life and death, earth and water, and the curious creatures of the title, especially Oscar, our little hero, who loses his mother in a hair raising scene near the beginning, and is then adopted by an older male, in a number of emotional, simple sequences.

Narrated by the irascible Tim Allen, whose familiar, fatherly voice perfectly suits the narrative style, Chimpanzee does just what it sets out to. We are propelled into another world, another life. Melding nature documentary with narrative manipulation, Fothergill and Linfield bring a half-cast honesty to the big screen.

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