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African Cats
BLU-RAY disk
Oct 28, 2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
African Cats order download
Director:
Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill

Actors:
Samuel L. Jackson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This nature documentary focuses upon two very different feline mothers as they travel two very different and dangerous paths in the wild while trying to raise and teach their cubs about hunting and survival.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I don't watch TV the way most people do, that is, the cable coming from the wall isn't even plugged into the back of my television. Because I'm always on the go or working, I download episodes of whatever show I'm interested in and watch them when I get the chance. One thing I do miss about surfing the channels are documentaries. There are a good many autobiographies out there as well as a great many nature documentaries like this one (MARCH OF THE PENGUINS being the last one I watched on TV). I've always had a love for the wild cat family; lions, panthers, cheetahs and what have you, so I knew I'd love AFRICAN CATS. This is truly one the best nature films I've ever watched.

Samuel L. Jackson narrates this wondrous tale of two mothers raising their young in the majestic, yet brutally harsh wilds of Kenya. On the one side we have an aging lioness trying to protect her cub by integrating it into the pride, and on the other hand we have a lone cheetah facing the many dangers of the wild as she tries to raise five young. Both stories are engaging, especially considering most of these animals are named for the sake of good storytelling. I don't know who exactly named them, but it was a clever avenue that helps generate a much greater sense of affection and danger. The film itself is dazzling, easily one of the most beautiful Blu-ray experiences I've seen to date. I have no idea how directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey were trusted enough by these magnificent animals to get so close (considering how many cubs were roaming around at all times) but they did an outstanding job capturing the unfolding laws of nature as well as the balance and camaraderie between these cats, their enemies and their prey.

AFRICAN CATS is a heartfelt, stunning look into the amazing world these feline wonders of nature live and prosper within. It's easy to go about our mundane lives and forget that such beauty still exists in our world. I loved the closeness of lion pride and wished the cheetahs lived the same way, you can't help but feel bad for any animal who goes solo out there. Their ways of living may seem straightforward and simple, but don't be fooled, there's a hierarchy and strict code of teachings that make their fascinating world go around. Seeing this film also made me give pause and consider Disney's THE LION KING with an even greater enthusiasm and respect, as they did a phenomenal job of re-creating the unrelenting and ever-changing world in which these beautiful animals flourish.
THE EXTRAS
Filmmaker Annotations: Here we get a picture in picture video commentary and some behind the scenes footage from the directors and experts on animals and their habitats. Like the film itself, it's a very interesting perspective that rivals the similar one found in RANGO.

Disney & Nature: Disney decides to let us know that they too can bring us Discovery Channel type adventures and also let us know how you help conserve nature by volunteering at Disney.com/environment.

Save The Savanna: Another environmental themed feature discussing how we can help save and preserve migration areas and the homes of these beautiful animals that we tend to destroy. There also a bit about how paying to see this film helped donate to the cause.

Jordin Sparks “The World I Knew”: Just like it implies, it's the music video of the song featured in the opening of the film. Cool tune, it fit really well with the emotional journey the film led me down.

Previews: There are a ton of Disney trailers here, some BD-LIVE content as well as a DVD Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Sure, documentaries are films that require a certain laid back mood, but this is the perfect flick to kick back with on a lazy Sunday afternoon and if you have an interest in these fierce creatures then I can easily say that you'll be in for an emotional journey you won't soon forget.
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