It’s not very often that I get to take my entire family to see a movie, but I was thrilled that we could see African Cats at an exclusive pre-screening on Monday. I had actually had the chance to see the movie previously, so when I was offered an additional screening, I jumped at the chance to take my kids. As a photographer, I was incredibly impressed by the cinematography. The scenes were gorgeously shot. The clarity made me want to cry (I could see the individual hairs on the cheetah’s back as she walked), and the story really captured my emotions. I knew that I loved it, but I was interested to see if the live-action, narrated nature film would pass the kids’ tough test.
About African Cats
An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, “African Cats” captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Oscar®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons. Disneynature brings “The Lion King” to life on the big screen in this True Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill (“Earth”).
See African Cats this week, Save the Savannah
During the film’s opening week (April 22-28, 2011), a portion of the proceeds from that week’s ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna.
Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years, was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife subjects and stories with theatrical audiences. “Earth” (opening Earth Day 2009) was the first film to premiere domestically under the new label, and garnered a record-breaking opening weekend for a nature documentary. Its “Buy a Ticket, Plant a Tree” initiative led to the planting of three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Hitting theaters on April 22, 2010, “Oceans” was the third highest grossing feature-length nature film in history. Its “See ‘Oceans,’ Save Oceans” initiative helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, preserving essential coral reefs.
Reese and AJ and Twizzler were enthralled. Reese even remarked at one point that the lion’s rivalry was a lot like the Lion King, and I could tell that she was amazed that it really happened like that. Every time the lions roared, the seats in the theater rumbled, and AJ would squeeze my arm and smile with wide eyes. They loved it. The teenagers, on the other hand, complained that it was too long. They wanted more action or more story or more…something. The amazing thing, though, is that the movie passed the test of my biggest critic – my husband. As once who knows film making, he is prone to critique (in other words, complain) movies and their style of cinematography. When the movie was over, I waited for the complaints. He had none. In fact, he was so impressed with the quality of the filming that he could not stop talking about the movie. So, out of 7 family members, 5 loved it, and 2 didn’t (and who listens to teenagers anyway?).
I must mention (since this was a highlight of my day) that before the movie started, as I was sitting in the press section with my entire family, a crotchety old man in front of us was asked to switch seats, since he was sitting in a reserved section for Press. He complained to the lady who was asking him to move and said, pointing to my kids, “What, you’re telling me THEY are press?!” He grumbled as he moved seats and then came right back up and sat next to my son when the lights went down. Luckily, Twizzler was well behaved, because the crotchety old man literally scared off the family that had taken his place in front of us (he yelled at them for hurting his knees when they leaned back too forcefully). Sometimes the best entertainment is not only found on the screen…
Find out more about the movie:
- “Like” the African Cats Facebook page
- Visit the African Cats webite
- Follow Disneynature on twitter
- Download the African Cats Educational Activity Guide
- Check out more African Cats trailers (and other Disney features) on YouTube
Disclosure: I was given press pass seats for two showings of African Cats – one for just me, and another for my whole family. No other compensation was received.
© 2011 – 2012, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.