Disneynature’s African Cats Review

Title: Disneynature: African Cats (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Release Date: October 4, 2011

About the Film:

AFRICAN CATS takes viewers deep into the breathtaking African savanna to witness the heart-stopping rivalry between two lion prides and the epic journey of one brave cheetah family. Shot over the course of two and a half years using state-of-the-art camera equipment, AFRICAN CATS captures the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the wildest places on Earth as it tells the dramatic and often intimate stories of Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion clan.

An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, AFRICAN CATS captures the real-life love, humor and determination of these majestic kings of the savanna in an exciting, heartwarming and visually stunning tale that is sure to engage children and adults alike. The film is narrated by Oscar®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Alastair Fothergill (Disneynature EARTH) and Keith Scholey.

In addition to the film, the discs include an incredible array of bonus features that take viewers deeper into the savanna through extensive interactive behind-the-scenes footage including filmmaker and conservationist interviews, an incredibly touching music video featuring Jordin Sparks singing “The World I Knew,” plus a look at the global efforts to which The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund contributes.

Bonus Features:


Disney & Nature – Viewers get a deeper look into the conservation efforts around the world being sponsored by The Walt Disney Company.

Save The Savanna – A comprehensive look at Disney’s “See AFRICAN CATS, Save the Savanna” program and its impact on the region.


Everything on the DVD, plus…

Filmmaker Annotations – This interactive in-movie feature is a viewing mode with 12 different segments that allows consumers to watch behind-the-scenes footage of the production process and hear stories from the filmmakers and conservationists who spent several years making the film.

Jordin Sparks “The World I Knew” Music Video


Everything on the DVD, plus…

Introduction To Masai Mara – a segment from the Filmmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature

Filming The Cats – a segment from the Filmmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature

Sophie’s Elephants – a segment from the Filmmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature

My Review:

I experienced so many emotions while watching African Cats. This is an intense film that I watched literally on the edge of my seat. It’s not your typical documentary where you basically just follow and learn about the subject. Instead, it told a story of three families AND it taught me about how each family lived.

The River Pride consisted of one lion, Fang, his lionesses and their cubs. Fang was so cute with a loose tooth hanging out of his mouth…hence his name! Layla was one of the elder lionesses with her daughter, Mara and it was beautiful to see how strong their bond was. These lions were like a real family. They were protective of one another, worked together when they went to hunt and were companions. I thought it was amusing when the lionesses went to hunt together and scored a Zebra. They rushed back to eat as quickly as they could before Fang came. He roared when he did and they all scampered away from their meal. Fang wanted it all to himself!

Across the river was another pride, Kali and his three sons. These were massive lions who were so beautiful and majestic. They were also very territorial and they wanted to take over Fang’s pride. To me, they were bullies the way they barged in and banished Fang forever and kicked all the cubs out. They wanted the lionesses to start a new pride with cubs of their own. There was no way that Kali and his sons were going to look after Fang’s offspring!

My favourite story was that of the cheetah, Sita and her cubs. Cheetahs are the fastest animal on land and I loved watching them run. I learned that Cheetahs are solitary animals. Sita was there to fulfill her role as mother and take care of her offspring and teach them how to survive and hunt. The cubs were so cute and playful. It broke my heart when the hyenas came one night and took two of Sita’s cubs. I cried to see Sita calling out for her missing cubs who were never to return.

John also watched the movie and his favourite parts were the hunting scenes. For me, they were very intense and I found myself holding my breath in some parts. I didn’t like to see animals killed even though I know it’s part of the survival of these cats. Thankfully, this was not a gory film at all so I didn’t have to hide my eyes.

This movie is one I will watch again and again. I’d like my daughters to watch it with me because I know they would like it. It is a must-see and I highly recommend picking it up and seeing this spectacular story unfold for yourself.

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*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the product for evaluation purposes. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the product.*

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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