African Cats (2011)
As a child I was forced to endure nature programmes on TV and like with many things that at a young age you are forced to endure you grow to dislike them. For that reason I have not watched a nature programme in a long time until I was handed a copy of "African Cats" with a note say I bet you will be hooked. And in fairness within seconds the impressive visuals accompanied by Patrick Stewarts narration, I believe the US release features Samuel L. Jackson's narration; I was well and truly hooked.
Now in truth "African Cats" isn't a great deal different to the nature programs I was once forced to watch as the narration tells us all about a lioness called Layla, a cheetah called Sita and an old lion called Fang. It takes us into their lives for example the aging Fang's dominance is under attack from the younger Kali whilst Sita has to protect her cubs from predators such as Kali. But the thing about this is that you have recognizable actors doing the narration and that helps to bring the documentary/ drama to life. And the actual drama is actually quite powerful from Sita having risked her life to lure two lions away from her cubs has to deal with the fact Hyenas got two of them.
But whilst the actual narration and the drama of the stories certainly helps make "African Cats" both interesting and educational the cinematography is stunning. From close ups of lions walking through the tall grass to the flame red sky as the sun goes down there is scene after scene of absolutely beautiful cinematography. And there are the expected cute scenes of young cubs being playful which is always adorable.
What this all boils down to is that "African Cats" is impressive and in many ways featured everything I expected from a wildlife documentary/ drama but with the bonus of having an actor providing the narration it adds that something extra to the production which makes it more of a drama rather than just a dry documentary.
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