"Né en chine" is the latest and by far the most stunning Disneynature True Life Adventure EVER! This G-rated documentary takes us into the wilds of China where we become acquainted with a mama panda bear and her cub (who wants to be independent before mama thinks her baby's ready), a young golden monkey with sibling problems (so he joins up with some lost boys), and a snow leopard struggling to raise her two cubs in a harsh, unforgiving (never-before filmed) environment.
Writer/director Chuan Lu working with writer David Fowler and writer/producer Brian Leith brings us this involving trio of stories that once again, illustrates the depths of maternal love and the life-and-death struggles for survival in the wild. (And that baby panda has to be the cutest thing in the world!) We see the migration of the endangered Tibetan Chiru, an antelope whose baby can walk just 30 minutes after birth!
Narrated by award-winning actor John Krasinski ("The Wind Rises"), we are enraptured from the first frame. My only complaint is that this runs for only 78 minutes, although many of the small children in the screening audience were running out of steam, so once again, Disney knows best.
It's clear that filming this documentary required a small army of porters who schlepped cameras, batteries, lenses, and other paraphernalia into these rugged locations. They range from soggy coastal areas to visit some graceful and iconic cranes, then move into lush forests; from there we go to a bleak treeless plateau scoured by the wind. At 14,000 feet above sea level, it is the highest plateau on earth. I have been unable to identify the brilliant cinematographers, but during the closing credits one of them has a humorous observation about filming snow leopards in that climate. I hope he is identified come Oscar time!
By the way, tickets sold during the first week of this release () will help fund wildlife preservation.