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Chimpanzee Blu-ray Review

“Chimpanzee” is a moving Disneynature documentary film.

“Chimpanzee,” the latest in the Disneynature series of documentary films, focuses on a young chimpanzee named Oscar. In the first half hour, we are essentially introduced to Oscar’s family (and his tribe). Through tasks like searching for food and sleeping in the trees to avoid leopards, we see what a day in the life of a chimpanzee is like. At about the 45 minute mark, however, the movie takes a heartbreaking turn. Without spoiling what happens, I will just say that you can expect to see a fight between chimp tribes and Oscar being forced onto a new path in life.

For the first 30 minutes of “Chimpanzee” I found myself being charmed by the adventures of Oscar even though the narration was positively dopey (I will get to that soon). But, around 15 minutes later, the movie unexpectedly became so much more powerful as we see Oscar being put on a new path in life. I really don’t want to say anything more because it’s better if you know nothing about this film going into it, but suffice to say, this movie will move you. Even as I write this review, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by remembering Oscar’s journey in this film. It’s a truly emotional, up close and personal viewing experience.

While the images on screen are positively captivating, the unnecessary songs and  audio narration by Tim Allen are the film’s weak points. Aside from the groan worthy “Home Improvement” reference, Tim Allen isn’t the one to blame here though since he is just reading a script. The writers of the narration are the ones that deserve the blame. While I understand the film is aimed at children and family audiences, having the narration be dumbed down with humor is a real mistake. The audience doesn’t need lame jokes thrown in to make it more palatable. We’ve seen time and time again that nature documentaries (like anything the BBC puts out) are fascinating on their own with serious commentary and or just letting images speak for themselves.

Summary: Even with the eye rolling narration, “Chimpanzee” is a heartwarming documentary film. Highly recommended.

Video/Audio:

“Chimpanzee” is presented in 1.78:1 1080p and it looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to the stunning cinematography. From the lush green forest and the glowing green mushrooms to the swarms of army ants and the lightning storm, you will feel like you are in the jungle yourself.

The 5.1 DTS-HD delivers clear sounding music, narration, nature ambiance, and chimp sounds.

Extras:
* Disney trailers.
* DVD Copy.
* A music video for the McClain Sisters’ song “Rise.”
* “Behind The Scenes Of Rise”- A “making of” music video featurette.
* “See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzees”- A quick featurette that talks about the film’s key moment and how portions of the movie’s proceeds go to the Jane Goodall Institute.
* “Disney’s Conservation Legacy”- An ad for the Dinsey Worldwide Conservation program.
* “Disney’s Friends For Change”- The McClain Sisters chat about how people can protect wildlife habitats.
* “On Location: The Making Of Chimpanzee”- A fantastic 7 part making of that is just as compelling as the movie. This making of contains cast and crew interviews, a behind-the-scenes look at how a narrative was formed, a look at the filming of certain scenes, etc. A must see.

August 26, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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