Written by Dani Ganley.
Since its launch in 2008, Disneynature has ventured around the world to share the magnificent wonders of nature and the creatures who inhabit it. Disneynature’s most recent masterpiece, “Born in China,” takes us on a journey with three animal families in China through spring, summer, fall, winter and spring again. The seventh Disneynature film accomplishes the task of being stunning, educational and, of course, adorable.
Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” “The Office”), “Born in China” follows the intriguing lives of two giant pandas, mother YaYa and baby Mei Mei; TaoTao, a golden snub-nosed monkey; and Dawa, a mother snow leopard, and her two cubs. The film also explores the lives of migrating chiru and red-crowned cranes.
What people might find most surprising is the beautiful scenery in China, as explored by the film. “Born in China” takes us to remote and spectacular places in China we may not even think of, let alone ever visit, like its snow-capped mountains.
As far as cinematography goes, the filmmakers did an amazing job. Each of the vignettes were intriguing and never boring— there was always something interesting to discover. The film has a wonderful way of guiding the story, while still allowing you to enjoy the beautiful journey at your own pace.
Even if you’re uninterested in its cinematic beauty, “Born in China” is worth seeing at least for the pure fact that there are some aww-worthy moments. I mean, how can you not love a baby panda or snow leopard? Plus, when it’s funny, it’s really funny. Some moments reminded me of the pet puns I saw at theexeterdaily.co.uk, and they just helped slam down harder into those adorable follow-ups, as well as some of the more heart-wrenching times that the film contained.
There were so many intimate moments that have never been captured before that were just stunning and, alone, made seeing the film worth it. The film follows the story of a snow leopard, an animal that is rarely caught on camera, and does so beautifully. Even outside the three main “storylines,” there is so much beauty to be seen, especially in the migration of the chiru.
Krasinski is a wonderful narrator and skillfully guides audiences through the film. His timing is impeccable and he brings a constant energy and balance to the film. He was able to deliver both heartfelt and funny moments without it ever feeling forced.
Though some may have an issue with animals acting out a sort-of human narrative, like when giant panda YaYa is referred to as a “helicopter mom,” I think it makes the story more relatable and allows us to be further pulled into their world. I personally became very emotional throughout the film because of how attached I became to the animal families. I laughed, I cried and I truly left with a full heart.
The film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. Plus, if you see Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born in China” during its opening week (April 21-27, 2017), proceeds will benefit the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Based on opening-week attendance, Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the WWF to help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China.