Remember those family friendly Disney animal movies of the seventies? This enjoyable documentary harks back to those films that transported us to foreign lands to view exotic animals in their natural habitats, only now the footage is even more impressive thanks to modern camera equipment and the sheer tenacity of the film crew.
Like 2012’s African Cats, this is a fuzzy adventure story rather than just a wildlife documentary, as it focuses on a three-month-old chimpanzee (named Oscar) separated from his mother following an attack by a rival troup. While grown-ups make find the tale a little corny (the narration names the bad chimp ‘Scar’, probably alluding to the baddie in Disney’s The Lion King), younger kids will thoroughly enjoy comic actor Tim Allen’s zippy narration, making this an appealing choice for kids who would otherwise do anything rather than watch a documentary.
Is Chimpanzee suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Children may find it upsetting when Oscar is separated from his family.
Young children may find the attack from rival chimps disturbing, and there is also a scene in which a chimp is killed by a leopard, although it is not graphic.