African Cats Review

Image for African Cats

Disney's documentary follows the fates of two families of animals - a coalition of cheetahs and a pride of lions - across the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya.


Purely to look at, African Cats is gorgeous. No more gorgeous than a BBC series covering the same ground, but gorgeous all the same: lots of smudgy sunsets over endless plains, wildlife in exquisite detail, plenty of fluffy cubs... You could put it on your wall and happily look at it all day. However. Over the top of these lovely pictures plays the most mewling, irritating, scientifically lying voiceover you can imagine. The ‘story’ is about the lives of two prides of lions living on either side of a river, plus a “single mother” (yes, this is how she’s portrayed) cheetah to mix things up. It constantly bangs on about “bravery”, as opposed to simple instinct. Show your kids some Attenborough, not this ‘animals are people too’ mush.

Even a voiceover by Nick Fury himself can't bring much gravitas to an overly anthropomorphic look at Africa's wildlife. It's beautiful to behold, but too fluffy to broaden younger minds.