Five Reasons to See Born In China Opening Week
Last month I had the opportunity to screen Born in China. It’s Disneynature’s seventh theatrical release since it’s launch in April 2008. Created to bring together the world’s top nature filmmakers to capture wildlife stories, the label’s first six releases are among the top grossing nature films of all time.
Born In China arrives in theaters on Earth Day – April 21st. I highly suggest seeing the film during the opening week. Based on opening week (April 21-27, 2017) 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. Knowing a portion of ticket prices goes towards the WWF and helping protect wild animals is the only reason I need to go see the film.
The donation isn’t the only great thing about seeing the film, I really enjoyed watching the movie and learning about all the animals that were featured. I know for the parents you’re probably worried about any graphic scenes in the film that could be too harsh for young children. There are a few animal fighting scenes, one scene where a hawk snatches a baby monkey, an intense fight scene with the snow leopard, and unfortunately, there is one sad scene. While it is sad, it isn’t graphic or gory.
Five Reasons to See Born In China
Did you know that China is the only place in the world where Giant Pandas live in the wild? The pandas live in central China in sections of the Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces at elevations ranging from 5,000-10,000feet.The temperate forests they live in produce 30-40 inches of precipitation each year—which is good for bamboo. You’ll have the chance to follow along with this mother and panda cub in their natural habitat. I think the pandas were my favorite animals featured in the film.
If you’re looking to learn about family life, the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys have a very interesting family dynamic. These are very different from the monkeys we meet in the Monkey Kingdom. Tao Tao learns the hard way about leaving home to early and falling in with the wrong crowd. His family, however, was there when he needed them the most. Did you that filmmakers initially planned to feature the first year of a monkey’s life. However, after capturing hours of footage of newborn monkeys, filmmakers noticed a youngster who had recently welcomed a new baby sister. “TaoTao’s life is turned upside down when his family turns its collective back on this young monkey—who previously was the center of attention,” says producer Roy Conli. “He no longer understands how he fits into his family or his troop.” Ultimately, filmmakers found that TaoTao’s story was almost an extension of the panda’s story.
I’d never heard of a Chiru prior to watching Born In China. The migration of these revered creatures washes across the mountain plains of Western China like an ocean tide. Every spring, thousands of female chiru bid adieu to the males and make an epic journey en route to the legendary Zhouonai Lake in the remote uplands of the Qinghai Plateau. There, they welcome new calves. Mothers and newborns bond and practice essential skills—like walking—before making the long trek home. There is fewer than 75,000 chiru on the planet, due to generations of poaching. Films like these highlight species like these and how we can help preserve them.
Dawa the snow leopard had a very interesting story. When we meet her she’s already a mother. She’s on her own looking for food to feed her young cubs. The snow leopards live on China’s Qinghai Plateau, the highest mountain plateau on Earth. Experts estimate that there as few as 4,000 snow leopards left in Central Asia’s high mountains—though their hard-to-reach habitat and phenomenal ability to disappear make it difficult to gauge. At more than 15,000 feet above sea level, Dawa’s world is decidedly inhospitable. Filmmakers worked hard to film these snow leopards in their natural habitat. Dawa and her cubs were probably the most emotional scenes in the film to watch. They are beautiful creatures and remember seeing the film during the opening week means a donation will be made to WWF to help protect creatures like the snow leopards.
Cranes have a very rich and spiritual history in Chinese culture. Legend says that when a crane takes flight, it carries along the spirit of a departed creature from this world to the next. “Born in China,” director Lu Chuan wanted to use the cranes to tie the whole film together in a magical, mythical manner. They were absoltely breathtaking to watch on the screen. According to cinematographer Paul Stewart, getting up close to the birds was easier than he expected. “They are very nervous birds,” says Stewart. “When we wanted to get close to film the birds with their chicks, we were very cautious because we didn’t want to disturb a rare species like this. We were delighted that they accepted our presence and allowed us a rare glimpse of their lives with their chicks.” I was very happy to see the cranes in the opening and closing of the film.
About Born in China:
Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes audiences on an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the world’s most extreme environments to witness wildly intimate moments in the lives of these animals. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey, who feels displaced by his new baby sister, joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely seen by human eyes— faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on Earth. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together.
Opening in U.S. theaters on April 21, 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman. Moviegoers who see Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born in China” during its opening week (April 21-27, 2017) 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.