DIRECTORS Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
A wildlife documentary about a family of cheetahs and a pride of lions filmed over two-and-a-half years in Kenya's Masai Mara reserve. Stunningly shot, with the animals as protagonists, it is charming enough for a family film, but not too cute for an older audience. (2011 USA 89 minutes)
An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, African Cats captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. The story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother's strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a once banished lion.
BBFC advice Contains documentary footage of animals hunting and fighting Further Parental Advice
“Filmed entirely in Kenya's Masai Mara nature reserve, it follows the travails of a veteran lioness ("Layla") and a lone cheetah ("Sita") as they fight a constant and concurrent battle to keep themselves and their young offspring alive.
They even face some of the same foes as an all-conquering male lion from the north crosses Sita's path during his bid to extend his reign over Layla's River Pride.
With television setting new standards of wildlife filmmaking every day, African Cats delivers the visual goods while attempting to raise its game for the big screen via a grand orchestral score and the stentorian tones of Patrick Stewart (US narrator Samuel L Jackson was presumably too cool a cat for UK audiences to handle).
You might think you've seen it all before. But directors Alastair Fothergill (who made Disneynature's first film Earth) and Keith 'Big Cat Diary' Scholey conjure up some touchingly unique scenes to illustrate the mother-infant bond and spring enough surprises to keep you on your toes.
Ever wondered who to back in the top-of-the-food-chain clash between lions and crocodiles? Place your bets here.
Providing a feast of kills, confrontations and capering cubs while keeping on-screen gore to a minimum, nature lovers of all ages will get their fill."
UK RELEASE 27 April 2012
RUNNING TIME 89 minutes
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