Disneynature: Born in China

Happy Earth Day 2017! (I know, we’re a week late on this one.) Our Earth Day tradition, every year that we’re on the same page as Disneynature, is to see their theatrical release. We’ve seen African Cats, Bears, Monkey Kingdom, and now Born in China, all in theater. They’re truly a spectacle, in that they capture nature in the most majestic way, but what did we think of this year’s release?

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Once again, their team has managed to capture the beauty of our vast planet, this time focusing on the various landscapes and seasons of China. More specifically, they’ve targeted the isolated parts of the higher elevation regions found far from the bustling coastal cities. Most of us will never have the opportunity to visit, so it truly is eye-opening. 

For this installment, we were generally disappointed with a few major aspects including the writing, directing, and narrating. It was a huge mistake casting John Krasinki to narrate this tale. While they’ve been capitalizing on narrators with comedic chops and delivery for quite some time, to highlight to goofiness of some of these animals, Krasinki is just far too bland for the task. Furthermore, when focusing on a certain titular country, there is a huge opportunity to further honor the cause. As we were watching the movie, I couldn’t help but think how amazing Michelle Yeoh would have been in the role. Fit mentioned that she would have loved to hear Lucy Liu’s voice complimenting the beautiful landscapes. Either way, Krasinki was the wrong choice.

The writing and directing were sloppy as well, with inconsistencies throughout the film. Certain seasons lacked certain animals, which is a lost chance to further educate those watching. Still, the amazing animals stole the show and provided awe and entertainment to keep the audience’s attention throughout the relatively short, but somewhat dragging film. 

The most controversial point is at the end when *SPOILER* the Snow Leopard mother passes away. We felt differently about how the situation should have been handled, but when it comes to a series that should be focusing on and supporting conservation, there should have been an effort to save her life. I stand firm on that. Whether the film crew was responsible for her death or not, they should have had a medical team on site. 

Beautiful images that honor Mother Earth and bring attention to one of the most magnificent countries on the planet. We’re looking forward to seeing Dolphins in theaters next year, since the trailer was already released. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

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