Film Review: Chimpanzee


Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee is a cute story-based documentary that will appeal in particular to young viewers.

Chimpanzee tells the story of Oscar, a baby chimpanzee growing up on the Ivory Coast. Oscar needs to learn the ways of the jungle, but a rival group of chimpanzees threaten his peaceful existence…

Chimpanzee is aimed at a young audience. The film should do well to entertain and inform them. Older viewers may request more factual details.

The film fits the Disney mould in terms of narrative. Similar to last year’s African Cats, it is a documentary but one that has an overriding narrative. The narration is much more story-telling than it is filling in factual detail. By giving the animals back stories and the the like, Chimpanzee comes across as a tale foremost, and a documentary secondarily.

The story that the film focuses on is rather touching. This is why Chimpanzee works well as a narrative. The rather interesting direction the story takes does have factual content, and reveals something unusual. As a protagonist, Oscar is incredibly cute, and fits in seamlessly with the main animal characters of several of Disney’s animated features.

The naming of the antagonist in Chimpanzee is a little silly, but should make viewers laugh. The choice of name draws direct parallels with an animated classic; it is clear what filmmakers are trying to do here.

Chimpanzee features some wonderful photography. There is a good use of time-lapse photography in particular. Chimpanzee captures the scale and the vibrancy of the terrain. The end credits sequence gives a good indication of the work that went into filming in such an environment.

Chimpanzee is a great way of engaging young children in learning about nature. Mature viewers should still be entertained, but may wish to have learned more.