Is 'Chimpanzee' Political Propaganda?

by Christopher Campbell April 23, 2012 @ 1:03 PM
Walt Disney Pictures
For the past four years, Disney has released a new nature documentary each Earth Day, a seemingly liberal act involving conservation promotion and charity, and yet these films seem more and more like right-wing propaganda to me with every release.
This year’s title is ‘Chimpanzee,’ about an adorable little ape experiencing war, survival and special patriarchal relationships among his community, and it’s no surprise that its opening weekend box office gross was the best the Disneynature brand has had yet. It’s hard for Americans to resist baby animals, especially for human children who are meant to identify with the universal struggles and triumphs that come with being a kid of any kind in the world.
The main criticism that many have had with ‘Chimpanzee,’ though, is with the narration, which emphasizes that relatability and uses the connection to subliminally target young viewers with messages of fear and hostility. Never mind the personal tastes regarding the voice of Tim Allen and his insistence in keeping up with that signature grunting of his (he didn’t become a popular comedian for being annoying to the majority). The worst part of the voice-over is the writing, which takes some extraordinary nature cinematography of beautiful flora and fauna and fungi and forces anthropomorphic story and character upon these images.

Weekend Box Office Report: 'Think Like a Man' Topples 'The Hunger Games'

by Jacob Hall April 22, 2012 @ 4:21 PM
Screen Gems
After a month of domination, 'The Hunger Games' has finally been displaced from the number one position on the box office top ten. Considering its theme of the little guy taking on the establishment and emerging victorious despite the odds, it's appropriate that it wasn't a major Hollywood blockbuster that snatched that spot. Show us someone who predicted that 'Think Like a Man' would win the weekend and we'll show you a certified box office predicting master. Or a liar. One of the two.

'Chimpanzee' Review

by Jordan Hoffman April 18, 2012 @ 9:55 AM
Walt Disney Pictures
Producers of nature films aimed at a family audience have long had a motto: Early to bed, early to rise, dumb down your story and anthropomorphize! (They also have a handshake, but if I spill much more about their secret society they'll stop inviting me to the annual fancy dress ball.)
However, the creators of 'Chimpanzee,' which may very well be the most breathtaking nature doc since 'Winged Migration,' have something rather unique on their hands.