Film review: Chimpanzee (U)


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The Independent Culture

Maybe kids will embrace it – I always loved Johnny Morris and Animal Magic – but this nature documentary from Disney goes heavy on the anthropomorphic syrup.

We are deep in the African forests to observe the rites of passage of "Oscar", a young chimp learning how to survive in a harsh environment.

An early tragedy seems to portend his doom until an unlikely saviour puts himself forward. This would be more touching without the wheedling musical score and a frankly terrible narration by Tim Allen that anthropomorphises jungle life in every aspect.

Chimps foraging for food is glossed as "the restaurant isn't always in the same place"; rocks used for cracking nuts are "power tools"; aggressive chimps are simply "thugs".

The photography is quite stunning, though the camera tactfully looks away when the Darwinist tendency kicks in and the chimps kill a monkey for supper.