What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chimpanzee is a beautifully filmed, African-set nature documentary about how a chimpanzee community must defend its territory to survive. The central "character" in the story is a baby chimp named Oscar, and some children will be disturbed when a confrontation with a rival chimp clan leaves him orphaned (his mother's death is referenced several times), lonely, and desperate for affection. The violence is edited so quickly that younger viewers aren't likely to pick up on anything bloody happening, but the narrator does say when animals are killed -- including a Colobus monkey the chimpanzees hunt together. Kids interested in animals will learn about the way chimpanzees live and interact, as well as witnessing a unique relationship between a juvenile and alpha male chimp.
- Families can talk about the popularity of wildlife documentaries. What attracts families to nature films?
- How is the narration in Chimpanzee different than that of other documentaries? Do you prefer the straightforward approach or Tim Allen's jokier one?
- "Alpha chimp" Scar and his crew are depicted as antagonists for wanting to start a confrontation with Freddie's clan, but aren't all the animals just acting like animals? Both groups of chimpanzees just want to survive, so is it fair for the documentary to portray one group as the "good" guys and their rivals as menacing enemies?