There is something special about chimpanzees, where people can quickly place human characteristics on these fascinating creatures. I have a special spot for the animals because my very first stuffed animal was of a chimpanzee. Zippy was his name and he had been handed down to me from my brothers. This documentary did not disappoint on the visuals, from beautiful landscapes to incredible close ups of the chimps, every scene was a treat. Where the movie did not do itself justice was who they had narrate the story, Tim Allen (Home Improvement-TV, Wild Hogs). Along with his annoying inflections, I also had to place blame on the script he was given to read. I understand the idea of making this film for the entire family by adding a dramatic story line; however, it started to feel as if I was on one of the rides in the Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. A 2nd clan of chimpanzees were portrayed as the bad guys; lead by Scar the alpha male. Tim’s grunts and excited reading was ridiculous to me. Instead of observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat, we were given a sanitized tale of little Oscar’s plight within the group. At the end of the movie statistics were presented on what the chimpanzee poplulation used to be and what it was currently, with no explanation on the reasons why. This film was made to entertain the whole family and on some levels it accomplished the task. However, I only wished they could have let the chimpanzees be themselves and avoid being turned into drama queens.
2 2/3 stars