Adorable baby animals star in Disneynature's 'Born in China'

Disneynature's Born in China follows the adventures of three animal families

Disneynature's Born in China follows the adventures of three animal families

Maybe that's why the new Disneynature doc Born In China never breathes a word about that country's environmental problems.

Director Lu Chuan's eye-popping dramatized look at animals in the wild has narrator John Krasinski putting thoughts in the heads of adorable pandas, rascally golden monkeys and a majestic snow leopard named Dawa.

The script is organized around the circle of life - and death, which is only occasionally mentioned - and the changing of the seasons, and the intent is to capture both the majesty and the harsh reality of living in this remote part of the world. Directed by Lu Chuan, from a screenplay by David Fowler, Brian Leith, Phil Chapman and Chuan Lu.

The G rating on this visit with several animal families certainly beckons the family audience, although some youngsters may be frightened by the depicted moments of peril, which are not exactly focused upon but are not ignored either.

Ultimately this is a film that offers a view of China that we wouldn't otherwise get to see.

So we'll visit 2-1/2 stars out of 4 for the warm and winning wildlife documentary, Born in China. As that most wizardly of kids' movies nearly says, leopards and monkeys and pandas, oh, my. The small taste of behind-the-scenes information is so fascinating that you'd nearly want to watch an entire documentary just about this process. The editors weave stories worthy of any Disney classic - Tao Tao the golden monkey is shunned by his family after the arrival of his baby sister, but his peers, the Lost Boys, don't offer much solace either. Ya Ya the panda carefully guides her baby, Mei Mei, through the process of growing up. These curious creatures sport bright marigold fur and bluish-gray faces with huge expressive eyes. Their expressions and gestures are startlingly human, and there's plenty of interpersonal and group drama to sustain their storyline.

The Disneynature films are always released close to Earth Day and strive to educate audiences about the importance of preserving nature. But from watching "Born in China", one wouldn't know if these animals were endangered.

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