The new Disney documentary 'Chimpanzee' has been awarded five stars from New York Daily News, for its remarkable, moving depiction of Oscar, the orphan chimp and his adoptive father, alpha male Freddy. Alistair Fothergill, the film's director and producer, told the Daily News "The whole politics of chimpanzee society is completely fascinating and I always thought they were the perfect animal to film."
The power of the film seems to stem from the chimps' characterful faces. "There is meaning in those eyes," says Fothergill. "We connect with them. We know they're intelligent, engaging animals." The story that the filmmakers managed to capture astounded even the scientists who work with chimpanzees on a regular basis. "We have never seen chimpanzees like this before," they told Fothergill. "You have taken the forest away, you have opened up and exposed the chimpanzees." Baby chimp Oscar is undoubtedly the star of the show, described as being "like a hairy HALEY JOEL OSMONT circa 1999, only more likeable." The review also praises the filming techniques, though, for making the viewer feel as though they are right in the thick of the action.
The movie is narrated by Toy Story voiceover star and comedian Tim Allen and the review concludes "If Hollywood ever tried to replicate Freddy and Oscar's sweet odd-couple friendship, it's doubtful they could find human actors more humane than these two". Chimpanzee opens today (April 20, 2012) in the USA, with later release dates scheduled for Europe.