Excerpt: Interesting and unique footage of chimp social life makes "Chimpanzee" a documentary that will engage both adults and children alike, but younger, sensitive children may not like some of the more intense scenes.
Excerpt: Sometimes, life is not fair. You sign up to be a film critic and end up having your heart torn out by a ditzy little Disney "documentary" about an abandoned chimp and its quest for comfort. DAMN! I'm too old to be weeping this openly. People will think I'm suffering from some kind of middle-aged malaise. But that's indeed the effect something like Chimpanzee has on you.
Conclusion: Chimpanzee feels more scripted than earlier DisneyNature efforts like African Cats , but it allows younger viewers an easier way to understand what is going on. The documentary offers some amazing footage of chimps and their habitat and this Blu-ray brings it all to life vividly with its excellent visual and audio quality. The extras are decent as well which also helps, but I wish there was more educational extras about chimps and the attempts at preservation on here.
Summary: Chimpanzee is geared toward children, plain and simple. Parents will get a kick out of it, sure, but "serious" nature documentary aficionados will come away disappointed, criticizing the beautifully shot, pure-spirited family film for everything from its seemingly scripted story to its mildly anthropomorphized chimps and at-times hokey, kid-friendly narration.
Conclusion: While some viewers will be put off by the near-constant narration or the efforts to turn this into a standard narrative drama, I greatly enjoyed Chimpanzee for its first-rate footage and fascinating subject matter. Though the Blu-ray's extras lean heavily on promotional material and the DVD's do entirely, the strong movie and sterling presentation are enough to warrant a look.
Excerpt: Really good nature photography is a special effect that never gets old, especially when the camera is trained on creatures or climates inaccessible to the rest of us. So for all of Chimpanzee 's faults as a people-pleasing Disney "documentary" hellbent on building a kid-friendly narrative, it contains enough stunning footage of the chimps and their jungle habitat to remain engrossing, even while it's insulting your intelligence.
Excerpt: On the Werner Herzog Nature Scale—1 being adorable emperor penguins in love and 10 being “the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder”—no Disney documentary is ever going to score anywhere above 5 or 6, tops. These are movies made for children, so there’s always going to be some cuddly anthropomorphizing, like half-formed cubs rolling on the forest floor or clinging to a mother’s teat.