I’ve covered many of the Disneynature films here, they are fantastically produced, universally appealing docs on interesting inhabitants of our planet. Their newest entry, Born in China, may be there best one yet thanks to the wide-ranging selection of animals profiled.
Narrated by John Krasinski, Born in China follows the stories if three animal families in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. We witness a baby Panda and its devoted mother as it experiences the world for the first time and learns to adapt, play and eventually gain independence. We also get a glimpse into the life of a two-year-old Golden Snub-nosed monkey who, just like many of us humans have experienced, feels displaced in his family by the arrival of a baby sister. He seeks out a new place to feel included with a group of other free spirited outcast monkeys and may learn a few lessons along the way. The final and most amazing story follows a rarely photographed mother Snow Leopard facing the dangerous task of raising her two cubs in of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. The three intertwining stories all feature incredible never before seen images of China from the frigid mountains to the lush bamboo forests few have witnessed.
Like the Disneynature films before it, Born in China is filled with unbelievable imagery that is the most stunning captured since BBC’s Planet Earth series. But this film stands out from many before it just because of the unique coverage of three vastly different environments all within one country. And because of the rare and truly majestic footage of the beautiful Snow Leopards. These creatures are hypnotic to look at with their thick white coats and the neverending playfulness of the cubs despite their harsh surroundings. You really can see our own human nature reflected in the mothers of all three stories, the desire to do anything for their children, the persistence to find food and shelter and to urge the children along in their development. This is especially true in the panda segments as the baby is literally guided every step of the way by the mother. And I was further fascinated by the similarities in the monkey segments as I had no idea animals experienced the same kind of jealousy and desire for acceptance that we humans strive for as well. There are so many parallels apparent in this film it is amazing. For a wonderful movie night with the kids, you cannot do better than Born in China. Very highly recommended.