African Cats

  • Reviewed by: Barrie Maxwell
  • Review Date: Jan 22, 2012
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Director

Alastair Fothergill

Release Date(s)

2011 (October 4, 2011)

Studio(s)

Walt Disney Studios

Review

For anyone such as yours truly who has had the privilege of being able to travel to Africa, DisneyNature's African Cats is a remarkable document.

Using footage shot entirely on location in the African savannah region of the Kenya and Tanzania's Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve, it tells the story of three families (two of lions and the other of cheetahs) vying to establish themselves in a beautiful but at-times unforgiving landscape. The film offers imagery and events that are variously heartwarming, heartbreaking, awe inspiring, exciting, and endearing in themselves, but always amazing in that it has been possible to even capture such images on film. Disney's release of African Cats on Blu-ray is the ideal way to experience the film. The 1.78:1 video is impressive in terms of both sharpness/ image detail and colour fidelity. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio is an equally impressive complement, offering crisp, clear dialogue (from narrator Samuel Jackson), very enveloping ambient surround, and cueing in some striking LFE during some thunderstorm sequences. The main supplement is video commentary from various crew members presented in a PiP format when invoked. A couple of minor featurettes promote Disney's conservation efforts and initiatives to save the savannah areas. The Jordin Sparks music video of "The World I Know" is also included. Highly recommended.

- Barrie Maxwell

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