By Christopher Gildemeister for Parents Television Council
The latest of DisneyNature’s annual Earth Day releases, Chimpanzee follows the life of Oscar, a baby male chimp. The viewer sees the lives of a pack of chimps – how they eat, how they live, and how they fight others of their kind for territory. After his mother is killed, Oscar is adopted by his pack’s “alpha male,” Freddy, and learns to survive in the wild.
Content in Chimpanzee is of minimal concern. Oscar is seen nursing at his mother’s breast several times, and of course the wild animals are naked, with genitals and rears shown. The threat to Oscar’s pack from another pack of chimps is frequently discussed, and several battles between the packs are shown, though not in graphic terms; most of the battle is conveyed through scenes of the chimps climbing trees and running about, and through narration. At one point, Oscar’s pack ambushes, dismembers, and eats a smaller monkey, though again this is conveyed entirely through scenes of the chimps chasing the monkey and narration stating that they have caught and eaten it; no bloodshed or violence is seen. Also discussed is the fact that Oscar’s mother is driven off and later dies after an attack by the rival pack. While the fact of such animal behavior and death may be upsetting to very young children, no violence or death is actually shown.
Containing spellbindingly beautiful nature photography, a sweet and compelling story, and humorous narration by comedian Tim Allen, Chimpanzee is a perfect way to introduce children to the beauty and power of nature. Because of its stunning photography and educational value, the Parents Television Council is proud to award Chimpanzee with the PTC Seal of ApprovalTM. The PTC recommends this film for viewers over age five.
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