NEW YORK (CNS) — Forget worrisome headlines about our trade deficit with China. Instead, relax and drown your concerns in the veritable tsunami of cuteness that flows from “Born in China” (Disney), a warm and fuzzy animal documentary, narrated by John Krasinski.
The latest entry in the Disneynature series — released, like several of its predecessors, in conjunction with the April 22 observance of Earth Day — “Born in China,” directed and co-written by Lu Chuan, rests on the tried-and-true premise that critters in the wild act just like us when no one is (supposedly) watching.
And so, animals are given names and personalities in the script, on which Chuan collaborated with David Fowler, Brian Leith and Phil Chapman. Complex family relationships are mapped, and every goofy moment highlighted for comic relief.
There’s also plenty of life-and-death drama on display, as the documentary captures astonishing footage of the animal kingdom across the four seasons.
As winter approaches, “Dawa,” a mother snow leopard, fears for her two cubs. She struggles to maintain their food supply atop one of China’s tallest peaks.
Down in the forest, “Tao Tao,” a golden snub-nosed monkey, resents the arrival of a baby sister, doted on by his parents. It’s the perfect excuse for him to leave home and join a renegade bunch of orphaned simians nicknamed the “Lost Boys.”
Lastly there is “Ya Ya,” a mother panda, who is perfectly content to sit and eat bamboo all day with her baby son, “Mei Mei,” at her side.
While “Born in China” may tug too hard on the heartstrings at times — the effect is occasionally cloying — its breathtaking cinematography, together with the total absence of anything objectionable, makes the film well worth the price of admission.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G — general audiences. All ages admitted.
McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103