Disneynature's Chimpanzee: A Dad's Love is No Monkey BusinessJohn Flynn
It’s probably no surprise that in my job as head of the Disney Movie Club, I see a lot of good movies. But in my role as a father (two girls, ages 9 and 12), I’m especially interested in movies that not only entertain, but also inspire. “Chimpanzee” is that kind of movie.
“Chimpanzee” follows the life of one adorable, tiny, 3-year-old chimpanzee named Oscar. This guy is cute with a capital “C.” We watch and laugh as he learns the ways of the jungle, making mayhem and viewing the world around him as a playground.
But the jungle is a harsh master. And when a rival group of chimps drives his family away, Oscar is left behind to fend for himself — until an unexpected ally appears and completely changes Oscar’s world. The true story that follows will delight parents and children alike.
What’s most remarkable about “Chimpanzee” is that our crew had no idea what Oscar’s story might be until the most extraordinary events began to unfold, right before their eyes and camera lenses.
If you love Disney’s earliest True-Life Adventures, you’ll know that many scenes from these older movies were photographed indoors on a soundstage, with all the action carefully scripted. But Disneynature films like “Chimpanzee” take us directly into the remote and secret realms where wild animals actually make their homes and live their lives. We meet them face to face on their own turf.
Walt Disney would be amazed to see how far his own studio has come since he pioneered the art and craft of telling these kinds of nature stories in the late 1940s. He’d be dazzled by the latest technology, but he’d be most impressed by the commitment and dedication it takes to capture the kind of footage we see in “Chimpanzee.” He’d be proud indeed.
Dad Alert: Is “Chimpanzee” appropriate for young children?
Let’s face it: What happens in nature isn’t always pleasant to see. But Im pleased to report that our directors have taken great care to minimize this film’s impact on young, sensitive viewers. Although I work for a movie studio, my responsibilities as a father really trump any other priority in my life. And as a dad whose kids are particularly sensitive, I look forward to taking my daughters to see this amazing and entertaining film.