OK for kids 6+
Nature docu emphasizes a mother's love and sacrifice.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this nature documentary features some breathtaking cinematography of the African savannah, but despite its G rating, there are some potentially upsetting scenes of animals hunting and dying. Nothing is overtly bloody, but the disappearance (and implied death) of a couple of cubs and the death of a central character is likely to disturb young children and squeamish adults. Children will learn about the African savanna, how cheetahs and lions differ in terms of their family groups and hunting styles, and how mothers -- even in other species -- are willing to sacrifice for the sake of their babies.
- Families can talk about the popularity of wildlife documentaries. What attracts families to nature films?
- Does humanizing the animals in movies like this one make them more or less likable? Is it right that some are depicted as "good" and some as "evil"? Aren't all the animals just acting like animals?
- Some criticize G-rated documentaries for depicting the way that animals hunt and (in some scenes) die. Do you think that kind of content is appropriate for all audiences?
The good stuff
Educational value: Kids will learn about the way that female cheetahs, who are solitary by nature, make an exception for raising their cubs and teaching them how to hunt, where to live, and more. Kids will also learn the way that lionesses live in a pride, hunting and raising cubs together while they're protected by an alpha lion.
Messages: The movie's messages are quite sweet and family oriented. Layla and Sita are both exemplary mothers who prove that even in the animal kingdom, mothers have an imperative to watch over their young, teach them how to survive, and make tough decisions that will ultimately benefit their offspring.
Role models: It's hard to ascribe human characteristics to wild animals, but since the narration already does that for us, it's easy to make the leap and say that the two animal mothers are positive role models. They're selfless, they make difficult sacrifices, and they face danger on a regular basis to raise their young and secure their safety.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: There are various scenes in which the big cats hunt animals or confront enemies. Some prey animals are killed (no blood, but the predators are shown eating), a couple of cubs don't survive, and a few sequences are filled with suspense and tension that might be overwhelming for young kids. One mother animal dies peacefully.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
African cats by cutecupcakefun
African Cats by usa4louise
EXCELLENT! Fun, but also very enlightening and educational, even for someone like me who has lived in Africa for more than 20 years! Even the credits were a lot of fun to read - a MUST see for everyone 3 to 103!
great by Dman832
seriously. This movie had everything. Action, suspense, solid plot, Samuel L. Jackson...nothing was missing! It was a little bit in the style of shows like Meerkat Manor, but spanned a greater period of time. Some really incredible shots of animals you only get to see in zoos. I would see it again.
This one def. tugs at your heart strings! by keeneybeany
I finally saw this movie today at the local dollar theater and was extremely surprised at the sadness in the movie. Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful scenes of African animals and beautiful land and aerial scenes. But before I got too happy at the beauty of nature in Africa, some well placed music came on and then there was the sadness. I love animals and I understand the animal kingdom but I would rather not watch a beautiful zebra being ripped to shreds or a lioness lay in the grass dying. I was crying in the movie theater over this movie and I was glad I didn't pay $8 to see it when it first came out. I was very disappointed because I felt I was mislead with the previews of this movie. It looked like it was going to be a movie about two beautiful animals and there families and their life on the savannah. While it was about animals and their lives, it was also about the circle of life. I feel that if I was a child I would have been scarred by this movie. Watch with caution.
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