Saturday, 18 January 2014

A window into the life of a young Chimpanzee.

"In 1960 there were a million chimpanzees in the wild, today just one fifth of that number remains."

That is the statement you are shown at the end of 'Chimpanzee' a Disney Nature documentary following the life of young Oscar. It is quite shocking and while reading it you have the footage of Oscar playing with the Alpha male Freddy; really touching once you know why they are together (no I won't ruin it for you).


The documentary has the narration of Tim Allen throughout and it is a beautifully shot film really giving you the feel like you are in among the group. You get to discover all the wonderful things chimpanzees have learnt to do from organised hunts, to tool use and how much they don't like the rain.

While watching it you can't help but realise how 'human' like these guys are, the way they move their hands, the faces they pull and the way they interact with each other. Creationism takes a real blow and the theory of evolution is just staring you in the face. Although it may not be a real scientific programme I am sure it will go far to raise the profile and awareness of our distant cousins.

It feels like it is definitely aimed at children and so for adults it can become a bit samey and the narration can get a bit annoying. None the less I would encourage you to watch it and if you have children or teach a class show it to them. You fall in love with little Oscar, so it can hopefully galvanise the young generations to get involved with the plight of chimpanzees.

Sir David Attenborough talks about the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation who have monitored Oscar and his family for over 30 years. 
(If you can't see the video click here)

Some organisations involved with the film:
  • Wild Chimpanzee Foundation - Looking over young Oscar and his family
  • The Jane Goodall Institute
  • NGOGO Chimpanzee Project