MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
After traveling the world for “Earth” and diving into “Oceans,” Disneynature narrows its focus with “African Cats.” This new nature documentary follows the lives of multiple cat species in Africa as they try to survive. The main focus is on warring lion prides as well as a family of cheetahs, though several other lesser cats show up in cameo roles.
I do enjoy these Disneynature presentations, which offer beautiful cinematography and a story that brings the footage together. The narrator this time around is Samuel L. Jackson, whose edgier tone strikes a chord with the subject matter. Rather than trying to encompass the entirety of the world, “African Cats” has a more leisurely pace. It takes its time telling the story, but doesn’t overstay its welcome. The film runs a comfortable 89 minutes, which should keep the interest of the younger kids.
Like the previous Disneynature releases, there’s the real dangers presented in the animal world. But even with such a strong focus on predators, the film is relatively bloodless and appropriate for all ages. If you’ve seen “The Lion King” and want to watch the real thing, give “African Cats” a chance.
The combo pack includes the DVD with the featurettes “Disney & Nature” and “Save the Savanna.” The Blu-ray includes filmmaker annotations through the film, plus the Jordan Sparks music video “The World I Knew.”