Adoption and Family,  family

Disneynature #Chimpanzee Preview – Earth Day Edutainment with a side of #Adoption

The gorgeous latest Disneynature film Chimpanzee hits theatres on April 20th, just in time for Earth Day. But my daughter and I were invited by Disney to attend an exclusive early preview in Waterloo Saturday. I knew enough to expect brilliant cinematography as in all the Disneynature series. These incredible voyages and educational glimpses into life in a particular habitat are remarkable always. Chimpanzee, narrated by Tim Allen, is every bit as spectacular as Planet Earth in its film sequences, close ups and fast speed transition scenes. 
 I didn’t expect the adoption theme that caught me off guard. Now adoption themes in family movies often go one of two ways – very poorly rendered as a joke within the movie – like ELF – or poor orphan child victim of the foster care system that is always headed up by an evil foster parent, never caring, always in it for money. Occasionally you can substitute adoptive parent for the angry evil foster care parent. Poor sad waif. Victim mentality that drives me bonkers. Or, in nature usually cartoon characters that are adopted by some species outside their normal experience. Cat taken in by raccoons etc.

I am here to say that is not the case with Chimpanzee. This is the story of Oscar, baby chimp born to a caring Mom and a big extended family in the jungles of Africa. This is a stirring look at how one unexpected member takes over when there is a need and how, even in nature foster care and adoption happen. It’s beautiful and funny and charming and amazing and I know we will see this magnificent movie again. It gets my highest rating of $$$$$.

CHIMPANZEE is breathtaking and incredibly real and emotional. It could be a bit frightening in two small sections when the chimpanzees are warring for territory and when a female goes missing. But there is no gore or blood or anything else. It is all tastefully done. I wouldn’t take a child under five to this movie, simply because I can’t see anyone under five sitting long enough for this one.
In celebration of the film’s release, Disneynature has joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada for a “See CHIMPANZEE, Save Chimpanzees” program where for every moviegoer who sees the film on opening week, a donation will be made to JGI Canada to help protect chimpanzees and their habitats, now and into the future. 
If you go to Walt Disney Studios Canada facebook page and like the fan page you can help support chimpanzees like Oscar. If Walt Disney Studios Canada reaches 22,000 “likes” on their Facebook page ( by Sunday, April 22nd – Earth Day, Disney will adopt two orphaned chimpanzees through the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada’s Chimp Guardian Program. The adoption certificates will later be shared with fans on the Facebook wall. 
For more information about JGI’s Chimp Guardian Program, please visit:

              Disclosure: I was not paid for this review, but saw the movie for free.My opinion is all my own.    

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Truly Blessed

    Thanks for the review. I’m wondering how they deal with Oscar’s mom’s disappearance. I have adopted children (5 & 6) and would love for them to see this film but don’t want to cause them unnecessary stress — hope that makes sense.

  • Paula Schuck

    Truly Blessed: I would ask what stage they are at in their adoption process. If it is still really fresh I might think it through a bit more and/or be prepared when you go. If their bio Mom died, then I would be careful with this, or consult professionals first. The Chimp’s mother is ambushed and injured. No death is shown and no injuries are shown as I said it is very tasteful. For my kids, I now sometimes seek these movies out on purpose to help give them the opportunity to bring the topic up. My daughter was worried about the mom and sad about the obvious disappearance, but it is a beautiful story. Foster care and adoption happen and it is a surprising thing which member steps up to help. I loved the movie.