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Born to Be Wild 3D IMAX Review

As mentioned in a couple of my tweets yesterday (I'm jkahane1 over on Twitter, for those who are interested), I managed to get tickets for myself, my goddaughter, and her mother to last night's 7:00 pm running of Born to Be Wild 3D, the magnificent documentary featuring Birute Mary Galdikas and Daphne Sheldrick playing currently at the Canadian Museum of Civilization IMAX Theatre here in Ottawa. So here's a mini-review.

In many ways, Born to Be Wild 3D is an adorable documentary about the real life efforts to save orphaned baby animals in Africa and Borneo. In a lot of ways, the short film (about 40 minutes long) is somewhat stagey, somewhat obvious, and a bit cloying (as Kathy said to me at one point), with one sequence with a group of young orangutangs working in a jungle gym on their...orang skills (hanging from stuff, climbing stuff, holding things with their feet, etc.) while Harry Nilsson sings "Let the Good Times Roll". There are the scenes with a young orangutang drinking milk from a baby bottle (a replacement for the mother that died in a man-made environmental disaster) or the apes washing themselves with soap and water, and eating the suds, where one can't help but smile and laugh a bit. But make no mistake: This is not a comedy. Rather, it's a sad warning about the slaughter of animals, of our natural world, and about two heroic women (Galdikas and Sheldrick) who are caring for its victims.

The film is narrated by Morgan Freeman, and is divided up into the two segments, one set in Kenya, and the other in Borneo. In the Kenyan part of the film, conservationist Daphne Sheldrick rescues elephants that have been orphaned when poachers kill their mothers. Meanwhile, in Borneo, primatologist Birute Mary Galdikas cares for orangutangs that have been orphaned because their forest habitats are being cut down. Both sections of the film highlight some of the terrible things that man has done to his planet, particularly its animal species, but the film portrays the majesty of its wild places, and focuses on the irresistable nature of its inhabitants and the stars of the show. There are brief scenes of animals in distress, that may serve to warn parents that this film might not be viewable for younger children, but my 11-year-old goddaughter loved the film, laughing and enjoying the humourous moments, being suitably chastened by all the more serious moments. Definitely a film worth catching if you are concerned about wilderness creatures and their survival these days.

After the film, I took Kathy and the goddaughter back to their place out in the West End of the city, and as I was leaving, my goddaughter got on their computer and started doing some research on a variety of subjects related to primates and the like. Budding primatologist, perhaps? In any event, to me that was reward for the experience in and of itself. That, and having seen a loving movie on a subject that more of us should be concerned about.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lena_of_fargo
Apr. 9th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
I saw Kristin Davis (part of the movie project) on a morning show yesterday. They showed a clip of the film. Looked very interesting and I agree with your observation--a warning about the slaughtering of all animals.
jkahane
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh, would have liked to see Kristin Davis's part of the morning show. Linky?

Definitely a sad warning about the slaughter of all animals. But a really great movie, in all regards. I wish it had been somewhat longer, but sometimes brevity is the way to go.
jkahane
Apr. 9th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Nope, the link to that didn't work at all in terms of the subject. She was talking about the death of Elizabeth Taylor, the dog that she had as Charlotte on Sex and the City. Ah, well.
lukadreaming
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
That's me in my other existence who's just followed you on Twitter!
jkahane
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh, cool. :)
lukadreaming
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
I tend to steer clear of fandom on it -- it's mainly music, sport and media (and sarky comments!)
jkahane
Apr. 9th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Sarky comments are always good. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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jkahane
John Kahane

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