Venturing into the wilds of China, "Born in China" captures intimate moments with a panda and her growing cub, a young golden monkey who feels displaced by his baby sister, and a mother snow leopard struggling to raise her two cubs.
Narrated by John Krasinski ("13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," NBC's "The Office," "Amazon's "Jack Ryan"), Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains to ... Written by
'Born in China': A Gorgeous Documentary that is Bound to Please
"Born in China" is a 2016 nature documentary directed by Lu Chuan ("The Missing Gun") with a screenplay by David Fowler, Brian Leith, Phil Chapman, and Lu Chuan. Music is by Barnaby Taylor; editing by Matthew Meech; and production by Roy Conli ("Big Hero 6"), Brian Leith, and Phil Chapman. It's narrated in its USA release by John Krasinski ("The Office") and in its China release, actress Zhou Xun ("Suzhou River"). The entirety was filmed in unpopulated areas of China. Various Chinese wildlife were followed for a year; their misadventures and struggles culminating in this film. It was released in China August 12, 2016, and in the US April 21, 2017. To date (April 29, 2017) the film has raised approximately $15.2 million worldwide. It runs for 1 hour, 16 minutes (76 minutes) and is rated G.
The film centers on various Chinese wildlife; one being a snow leopard named Dawa struggling to collect the needed food for her two cubs. With increasing competition and food supply decreasing, Dawa struggles to maintain her cubs' health. The second is that of Tao-Tao, a golden snub-nosed monkey who is constantly plagued by his family's bias to a newborn sister. Tao-Tao joins a group of misfits, referenced as "The Lost Boys," but still finds himself lonely. The third is a panda named Ya-Ya and her baby daughter Mei- Mei (pronounced "My-My," apparently). As Mei-Mei grows older, Ya- Ya is forced to confront her daughter's maturity and newfound independence. Finally, there is a herd of chiru, who are there for little plot complexity and more for cinematography.
Sometimes in nature documentaries, the director's abundant desire for humor/story development begins to overtake the film. This is not necessarily a bad thing; jokes and story are good in small doses. But with too much, the attention is detracted from the actual entertainment (the animals) and more to something that won't satisfy. Sadly, many Disney Nature films have fallen victim to this, and "Born in China" maintains a serviceable, if not entirely balanced, scale between these two conflicting features. That is not to say the film is not without fault; Krasinski, while of talent, does not do the film justice with mediocre narrating. Most of the jokes are meant to be cute, but with Krasinski's delivery, something goes wrong, leaving a decent quip that may have earned my half-hearted chortle acquainted with silence. As a whole, "Born in China" is deservant of some of the detractions mentioned on this forum and on my review. As a whole, however, the film is entertaining and somewhat educational. I would recommend it over some of the recent releases. So, yes, go see it. It definitely will beat "Beauty and the Beast," "Boss Baby," and maybe even "Gifted." What low standards for film we've been setting lately, where a documentary can edge out $160 million competitors in terms of quality.
+ Beautiful cinematography.
+ The animals are made into characters with struggles, flaws, failures and successes, and one will undoubtedly empathize.
+ It is paced well, with captions notifying you of the current season and the scenes remaining relatively quick (not in a bad way).
+ The film includes an interesting interpretation of the harsh reality in nature.
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