African Cats (2011)

Documentary, Adventure
Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart
A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.
It isn't quite as majestic as its subjects, but African Cats boasts enough astounding footage -- and a big enough heart -- to keep things entertaining.
  • Disneynature Company:
  • G Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 22 Apr 2011 Released:
  • 04 Oct 2011 DVD Release:
  • $15.4M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Cats Conquer5/10
Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey bring a charming little documentary set in the Kenyan Savannah. The film has been edited tightly to tell a coherent story and add a more dramatic feel. What sets it apart from watching a documentary on Animal Planet or Discovery Channel is that the viewer does not get the feel that he/she is watching a documentary. It feels like watching a feature film where the lionesses and the cheetahs are the protagonists. It is beautifully shot with stunning cinematography and a brilliant soundtrack with the exception of the Jordinn Sparks track that takes place during the closing credits. But watch the closing credits as it's hilarious seeing how the animals have been credited. Samuel L. Jackson's husky voice excellently narrates the story. It centers around Sita the cheetah and her cubs and Laila the lioness and her daughter Mara. And the presentation of the 'characters' are very well done as the viewer can easily relate to them and root for them. The elements of adventure, suspense and even comedy are brilliantly balanced in this wildlife tale. Given that the title is 'African Cats', I missed seeing the leopard. But anyway, 'African Cats' is overall refreshing, entertaining and heartwarming and a nice reminder of why some of us love animals.
More than you expect!6/10
We often think of African wildlife documentaries as being dry, reiterated, or just clips of either cute baby animals or slow motion shots of the predator striking at it's prey. All under the dry narration of Sir David Attenborough or someone trying to sound like him. This is different.

The theme of "African Cats" is one of a mother's love, the setting is on a stretch of Kenya divided by a great river where on one side we are shown a lioness and her cubs as members of the ruling pride, on the other a mother cheetah and her cubs as she attempts to raise her young as a single mother. Each situation has it's benefits and it's disadvantages.

All of this wonderful story telling occurs amidst the beautiful scenery of Africa and all under the perfect narration of Samuel L. Jackson whose voice matches the inflection and emotion of every scene reminiscent of the work of the late John Facenda of NFL Films.

The movie does not try to out-do its predecessors and be more than it is, it stays to it's story and it's themes and makes for a wonderful film for anyone. From the kid who loves animals, to the casual film goer who enjoys a good story. 6 out of 10, check it out.
Real wildlife8/10
This was (in my humble opinion), one of the better "wildlife movies" I have seen. Sure, there were not too many scenes of carnage but neither was the footage sanitized to that with what we are traditionally used to with Disney. A pretty good narration by Jackson and brilliant cinematography results in a rather good portrayal of life and death in central Africa.

If there is a little anthropomorphism so what? The overall cinematography was a great compliment to the music and I would think anyone leaving the theatre would admit to almost smelling the Masai Mara in all of its majesty. John P Nightingale
Enthralling10/10
I just returned from seeing this movie today. The struggle for survival of two lion prides a cheetah family are beautifully brought to the big screen with masterful narration by Samuel L. Jackson. The cinematography and soundtrack are spectacular.

Mara, a young lioness must struggle to survive after the death of her mother and be accepted into the pride. Sita, a mother cheetah, struggles to raise five cubs in a land populated by deadly hyenas. Kali, a powerful lion, and his three grown sons seek to take over Mara's pride.

The movie is realistic, but not so bloody that anyone but the most sensitive among us should be offended.

I will definitely be adding this one to my DVD collection.
Technically brilliant; the narration is overdone.9/10
African cats are as dangerous as they are majestic, and one runs the risk of forgetting that when watching this documentary. Cheetahs, lions, and hyenas are lethal killing machines, that is how they live, that is their role in nature. The pictures speak for themselves; narration may not even be necessary. Watching a lion chase down a gazelle or a cheetah face down a lion requires no commentary. This is life or death. Here the narration becomes a distraction. The animals are not acting for the audience's amusement. They are doing what animals do to survive. Do lions have a sense of family? Who knows. But one thing is for certain: this documentary provides a spectacular glimpse of the brute strength and incredible agility of these creatures. Technically, this documentary is superb. But anthropomorphizing these animals for dramatic effect really trivializes what the documentary is showing. These animals are not cuddly playthings; they can and do kill, which is an aspect of their nature that cannot be played down.