Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Disneynature

Directed by:

Alastair Fothergill (Earth) and Keith Scholey

Starring:

Samuel L. Jackson as Narrator

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

African Cats

For the third year in a row, Disneynature premiered a full-length movie to commemorate Earth Day. The first two films, Earth and Oceans, spanned the globe. This one focuses on two tribes of big cats: cheetahs and lions. Filmed entirely in Kenya, African Cats invites us to take an up-close-and-personal look at two very different feline families—and at the two mothers who are making sure their cubs thrive in the expansive African savanna.

Layla is an aging lioness who's part of a pride ruled and protected by an alpha male named Fang. As long as the river is high, life is good for Fang's family. But when it starts to dry up, danger from the "Northern Kingdom" lurks in the form of a rival lion and his four fearsome sons.

Sita is a cheetah that has her hands, er, paws full raising her newly born litter of five cubs. Sita is absolutely on her own. She does her best, determined to protect her babies from other cheetahs, hyenas and even a rogue band of lions. (Sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes she doesn't.)

Disneynature has gone to great lengths to make a film that's not only beautiful and inspiring but suitable for almost every age. Why almost? Well, this is a documentary about wild beasts. And wild beasts must eat to survive. So for very young and very sensitive viewers, it might be tough to watch hunted animals taken down and eaten.

As was the case with both Earth and Oceans, the cinematography in African Cats is never short of breathtaking. At full speed and in super slow-motion, it’s a beautiful portrait not only of the animals themselves, but also of the sacrificial nature of motherhood. You can’t help but marvel at the splendor of God's creation, which is on full, spectacular display. This story avoids talk about global warming and is all about the remarkable big cats of the African plains.

Copyright © 2011 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com