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Tim Allen, China Anne McClain

In theaters Earth Day 2012, Disneynature's newest True Life Adventure introduces Oscar, a baby chimp whose playful curiosity and zest for discovery light up the African forest until a twist of fate le... read more read more...aves Oscar to fend for himself with a little help from an unexpected ally. -- (C) Disneynature

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75% liked it

97,914 ratings


74% liked it

94 critics

G, 1 hr. 17 min.

Directed by: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield

Release Date: April 20, 2012

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DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012

Stats: 1,100 reviews


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Flixster Reviews (1,100)

  • September 12, 2012
    For Oscar, every day is an adventure.

    Good Disney Nature movie! Gorgeously filmed and just the right length to keep smaller ones from getting bored, I was amazed at the footage that the filmmakers got of these chimps. I am one of those who has trouble leaving the primate area o... read moref the zoo and it does make you marvel at their similarities with humans.You'll feel like you just went on a trip to the rain forest of Africa, and I can't imagine a child or teen not liking this. Or an adult for that matter.

    Oscar, a baby chimpanzee is enjoying his life with his mother in the jungles along the Ivory Coast. Without warning, young Oscar is tragically orphaned during an attack from a rival group of chimpanzees. Afterwards, he attempts to survive on his own, and to be accepted by the other chimps. But Oscar struggles, until he is surprisingly adopted by the Alpha Male of his group.
  • August 23, 2012
    This was really great. Rather snarky narration for a disney flick. Beautifully filmed and you'll only tear up a little bit. Probably.
  • April 22, 2012
    A wonderful Earth Day gift from Disneynature. Chimpanzee is touching, enjoyable, and features incredible jungle footage with the neon mushrooms and the slowed down rain fall being the highlights. Chimpanzee is a great family film that's gentle enough without watering down the bru... read moretality of the animals' lives. Overall Rating: 84
  • fb679292436
    April 20, 2012
    With the recent collection of Disneynature films (African Cats, Oceans, Earth, etc.), they have added another film into the mix, which dives into the lives of chimpanzees. Can Chimpanzee carry the legacy of Disneynature's films? One thing it does well is that the cute charm of th... read moree chimpanzees might woo you in. It's one of the films main strengths, and you actually feel for the main character Oscar, and his antics throughout the film. The film is also pretty funny and has its fair share of surprising things you might notice. Tim Allen also does a good job as narrator, giving the chimpanzees character in certain situations. It is quite short at 72 minutes but the film makes use of its limited time, showcasing everything chimpanzees need to thrive and survive. Overall, a very pleasant family film, with some comedy, suspense and emotional moments thrown in.
  • May 20, 2012
    Enjoyed this more than the other Disney Nature film (Oceans) but this one suffers as did that one from exquisite cinematography marred by crappy script and lackluster narration. Does anyone really go to see Chimpanzee to hear Tim Allen's voice? Next time Disney needs to throw mo... read morere $ at script and less at talent. Nevertheless it was great spending 80 minutes with Oscar and the gang. (5-20-12)
  • July 4, 2012
    Cute little documentary about an adorable Chimp named Oscar.
  • April 21, 2012
    The story of Oscar and his "community" (aka family/tribe) definitely sucked me in and it's fascinating the way that Chimpanzees use tools to do things. One thing I could done less with was Tim Allen's narration, I kept picturing him as "Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor." It's solid film... read more though if you're looking for something to take the whole family to see.
  • August 9, 2013
    Chimpanzee is a well directed heartfelt and funny movie. But it was to short and it didn't feel complete by the end.
  • ThomasJayWilliams
    September 14, 2012
    Disneynature dives deep into the wild forests of Africa for their latest (voiced-over with spin) True Life Adventure documentary, Chimpanzee. If one does not enjoy observing nature, than Chimpanzee is NOT a movie for him/her. Disneynature has now tackled a couple of films for a... read more niche audience, and Chimpanzee does the same with this much-respected member of the animal kingdom that is quite closely related to the human being. Chimpanzee is put together by using hours of compiled documentary footage with a simple voice over by Tim Allen (Toy Story 1-3, Galaxy Quest, The Santa Clause films) who helps create a narrative for the film (so what we see is real although the narration embellishes the action). The film begins by following a community chimpanzees (complete with the Alpha male, the mothers and babies and other supporting males) as they trek their "territory" in search of vital food -- be that nuts, fruit or even meat (!). The film provides a fictional narration -- most likely to keep the interest of a younger audience -- but it also provides much insight into the lives of chimpanzees (as I had NO idea they hunted meat). The young chimpanzee at the heart of the film has been named Oscar and the film follows him through some rough Disney times (remember that the situations are ALL real and so sensitive, gentle-hearted viewers might require a few tissue for their sniffles). There are parts here that I did not want to see; but one cannot sugar-coat nature and the film-as-a-whole informs. After seeing another 2012 documentary film, Project Nim -- about a chimpanzee that was initially brought-up as a human child in a posh 1980's NYC apartment building as a social/behavioral experiment but later abandoned as man realized his folly of trying to tame a wild beast -- it is nice seeing this contrast with a chimpanzee brought up as nature intends. Where Project Nim was ultimately heartbreaking because of humanity's lack of humanity, Chimpanzee allows for a chimp to be a chimp where they take care of their own. They begin as adorable creatures (Oscar and Nim make you melt!) and as they grow they should command respect. Not everyone will; but not everyone appreciates nature.
  • August 27, 2012
    Disney and Disney Nature have a hit on their hands with the latest release in the Disney Nature series, Chimpanzee. This nature documentary is touching and heartwarming for the entire family. At the same time, it is also quite eye opening, considering the most commonly known so... read morecial roles of the primate community. Generally, males in this community are not known for taking on the caretaking role. Yet here, audiences see something that can only be described as miraculous. Add in equally spectacular footage of the jungles of West Africa and the subtle narration of veteran actor Tim Allen, and audiences get a truly memorable work.

    Chimpanzee has so many positives going for it. But if there is one factor that stands out more than any other as the key, it is that young Oscar is fostered by the head of his group of Chimpanzees, "Freddy." This generally goes against common logic of this group of primates' behavior patterns. Yes it is wonderfully touching for audiences. But on a more scientific level, it makes for quite the interesting display. Disney and Disney Nature included on the home release of Chimpanzee a behind the scenes look at the work that went into filming the documentary. Almost everyone involved in the filming who was interview, noted how "human" the behavior was. Even the most casual of viewers can't help but be equally amazed at this behavior. Take into note that this isn't just another animated Disney feature, either. This is the real world that audiences are seeing.

    The fatherly behavior of "Freddy" is extremely enlightening and surprising as well as touching. Just as interesting to note is the chimpanzees' use of "tools" to crack open the notes in their grove. Add in that the younger chimps were being "taught" so to speak how to use them was even more incredible to see. The chimps both young and old "learned" what they needed to use in order to crack open the tough shells of the nuts. This real life vision of adaptation is another extremely interesting portion of the documentary.

    The material shown in Chimpanzee is enlightening and interesting to say the very least. It alone makes for a documentary that every family and even teacher should watch at least once. It is the meat and potatoes of the documentary. That being the case, then the narration of veteran actor Tim Allen (Home Improvement, The Santa Clause 1 - 3) is the garnish that makes the whole display that much more appealing to the viewer. His narration is subtle enough to not overpower the sheer beauty and intellectual value of the film. If anything, the narration adds a nice light hearted humor throughout the work. And hearing him pull out his classic Tim Allen Tool Time grunt at one point was a nice additional touch.

    So much work went into bringing Chimpanzee to life. As noted already, from the stunning visuals, to the very behaviors of the chimpanzees to Tim Allen's narration, Chimpanzee has so much going for it. Whether or not viewers had the opportunity to see the film in theaters, the home release of the documentary has one more touch that makes it a memorable work. That one extra touch was the extensive behind the scenes documentary that followed the film crew over the course of its filming. Seeing that the crew was actually worried when it turned out Oscar was orphaned showed how much the film meant to them. And that the crew endured bee stings, bug bites and so much more adds to the appreciation of the work turned in to bring this piece to life.

    Chimpanzee is not a simple piece. The footage presented in the blu-ray presentation is crystal clear on an HD TV. The story of Oscar's journey and Tim Allen's narration make everything that much more enjoyable. And the bonus documentary is more proof of the importance of bonus features on a home release of a feature. Assembled all together in one double disc Blu-ray/DVD package, they combine to make a feature that any family will enjoy watching time and again. It gives that much more hope for Disney Nature's next release.

Critic Reviews

Lisa Kennedy
April 20, 2012
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Those hungering for rare footage of our cousins playing and foraging, fighting or fleeing are in for a number of treats. Full Review

Alonso Duralde
April 20, 2012
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

Of course, if you're a fan of old-school Disney True-Life Adventure tales like "Joker: The Amiable Ocelot," then you're used to this sort of sanitizing of the world's rougher edges. Full Review

Rafer Guzman
April 20, 2012
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

Walt Disney himself couldn't have scripted "Chimpanzee" any better. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
April 20, 2012
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Resurrects some of the worst traits of the studio's True-Life Adventures series of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, dubiously shaping some amazing footage with cornball narration that relentlessly anthropomo... Full Review

Tom Long
April 20, 2012
Tom Long, Detroit News

It's really a wonder of nature, a reminder of how we are bound to other species and how valuable and special and downright magical their lives are. It may be a bit corny at times, but it's also downri... Full Review

Michael O'Sullivan
April 20, 2012
Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

One wonders whether more than a few viewers won't want to take home a baby chimp after seeing the film. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
April 20, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

We don't see footage of different chimps and have to pretend it's the same; this is one fellow, from one clan, trying to survive. Full Review

Joe Williams
April 20, 2012
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Produced in association with the Jane Goodall Institute, "Chimpanzee" is an eye-opening primer in cross-species similarity. Full Review

Liam Lacey
April 20, 2012
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

Unfortunately, when so many strings have been pulled along the way, Oscar's triumph feels contrived for dramatic impact, even though it really happened. Full Review

Peter Hartlaub
April 20, 2012
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

The stunning and mostly uncompromising visuals more than compensate for the frequent corny turns of phrase. Full Review

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Chimpanzee : Watch Free on TV

Chimpanzee Trivia

  • "Tiny little ______ swimming in a stream Tiny little ______ chasing that impossible dream -The mynah bird says, "Caw. Ca-Caw" -The chimpanzee says, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"..... Fill in the Blanks....  Answer »
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  • What was the name of Cint Eastwood's chimpanzee in "Every which Way But Loose"?  Answer »
  • What was the name of Cint Eastwood's chimpanzee in "Every which Way But Loose"? Choose the correct answer: Cliff Mandy Clyde John Clint Okay if you are really a fan of this movie you would know that Clyde wasnt a chimpanzee he was: (remember 13 ribs like you and I)   Answer »

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