© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany GmbH

Im Reich der Raubkatzen (African Cats)
U.S.A. 2011

Opening 19 Apr 2012

Directed by: Alastair Fothergill
Writing credits: Keith Scholey, John Truby
Principal actors: Samuel L. Jackson

The world of Disney collaborates with several seasoned artists to bring to the silver screen the latest saga in the DisneyNature adventure African Cats. The Disney Studios continue to be the leader of the pack with their nature preservation emphasis and renewed branding in DisneyNature. “Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing thirteen True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1949 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®.” In April 2008, over fifty years later, The Walt Disney Studios refreshed their heritage of True-Life Adventure films and coined the project DisneyNature. The Studio’s project now brings the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife subjects and creates real stories with theatrical balance. The Walt Disney Studios nature-feature documentary Earth opened in 2009 and was the first to premiere under the new DisneyNature label. In 2010, Oceans appeared on the silver screen and was the third highest grossing feature-length nature film in history.

Filmmakers Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill join with narrator Samuel L. Jackson to take the film audience on a mesmerizing nature safari in African Cats. It’s more than a movie; it’s a true-to-life close-up and a moving tale of the survival-of-the-fittest on the African Savanna. African Cats was filmed in Masai Mara, Kenya over a two-year period observing the lifestyle of a variety of African Cats. The diversity of these species lives in a hierarchical world where the lion is the king. He rules over many animals of the African wild, but his pride is the pack of lionesses that follow him day and night. The story with this lot of furry animals begins with crisp cinematography of a real-live antelope herd making its seasonal trek. Their travel at racing speeds will draw on your imagination of the visuals in the Disney animation feature-film The Lion King. The scenes are incredibly, similar though one is the animation copy of the other’s reality. Their movement is absolutely stunning. The beginning to the African Cats story is due to the Herd’s movement. The herd is generally the cats’ source of nutrient. So, when the herd moves, the cats try to follow, but they end up in a different part of the savanna tundra where they are not in control. Each breed of the big African Cats must manage to survive on foreign soil searching for food and water, as well as finding a safe environment for their young.

African Cats is a magical account that follows the true-life adventures of Layla, a strong River Pride lioness, and her daughter, Mara; Fang, leader of the River Pride Lions; the single cheetah mother, Sita, and her five cubs; as well as the Lion King of the North River, Kali, and his four burly sons, as they journey where deadly foe and life dragons dwell.*

For educational purposes and a fun activity that you can do with your kids, go to the Disney Nature website and link http://disney.go.com/disneynature/africancats and download the guide. You will engage in conversation with your kids to answer questions such as: How does the African Savanna compare to where I live? Or, what is in an African Savanna? Or, what jobs do living things have on the Savanna?

*Rated G, but a very slow moving film with up-close and personal cinematography not necessarily appropriate for the very young in some scenes. (Karen Pecota)

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