Image for Chimpanzee

Disney Nature's doc follows a young male chimp called Oscar as he patrols and plays in his African habitat.


Like all of Disney Nature’s output, this is less documentary than beautifully filmed, animal-based ‘constructed reality’, a sort of cuter Jersey Shore with more body hair but comparable cognitive awareness. It follows a young chimp called Oscar through his first months, playing in trees, eating whatever he can and generally evading death in an African forest. Though designed for children, it doesn’t flinch from the bleaker parts of animal life — one segment sees the cute little chimps hunt and eat an even cuter monkey. There’s less focus on scientific rigour than on showing things that are adorable, but on the latter front you can’t fault it.

Like The Only Way Is Primate, the reality TV-influenced approach to wildlife cinema gives us a hero to root for, but it's not coy on the tougher side of the natural world either.