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Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Published April 19 2012

Review: Disney swings from trees with ‘Chimpanzee’

Disney’s 2012 movie offering for Earth Day is a gorgeous and technically dazzling look inside the world of chimpanzees – their use of tools, their nurturing instincts, their means of organization during fights and hunts for smaller monkeys, whom they sometimes eat.

In a vast, fog-enshrouded jungle, we meet baby chimpanzee Oscar, his mom, Isha, and the chimp in charge of this tribe – Freddy, an alpha male tasked with keeping order and keeping other chimp packs from invading their turf, eating their figs and taking over the grove of nut trees that keeps Oscar’s extended family fed, even in the jungle’s lean months. They’ve learned to use rocks and sticks to open the nuts. But despite this advantage, the vast “army” of chimps led by one-eyed “Scar” (of course) threatens to chase them to the hinterlands, where the food promises to be more scarce.

If you see allegories in human behavior among our primate cousins – battles over resources, clannishness – take that as purely intentional, too

Tim Allen’s narration makes this kid-friendly film even more so, but that doesn’t spoil what is a lovely film; all extreme close-ups of chimps grooming, eating (with their mouths open), working out which rocks or sticks are good for cracking nuts and which aren’t.

‘Chimpanzee’

Theater: West Acres 14

Rating: Rated G

Time: 84 minutes

Three out of four stars