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African Cats 2011

Critics score:
71 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Far too often, African Cats feels episodic in its structure. Rather than featuring a driving, compelling narrative, it's: cheetah vs. gazelle. And then: hyena vs. cheetah. And then: lion vs. crocodile. Who will win??? Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's not a put-down of the darker and more straightforward "Last Lions" to suggest "Cats" is to "Lions" what poetry is to prose. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: It's a solid hour and a half of intense stuff you don't see every day. Read more

Rachel Saltz, New York Times: There are surely eight million stories on the naked plains, but "African Cats" tells one: about lions and cheetahs and - oh, Bambi! - the power of mother love. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: Imagine ten Shirley Temples singing "Animal Crackers in My Soup" while pawing at rainbow-colored balls of yarn. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The photography is so spectacular that the accompanying Disney-ization of wildlife is forgiven. Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe: Under the direction of BBC wildlife documentary alums Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill, "Cats'' looks majestic throughout, even if its Big Stories are sometimes forced at the expense of fleeting, fascinating little details. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Anyone with a fondness for bambinos of any species should melt at the sight of mamas with nuzzling cubs. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Not coincidentally, African Cats opens on Earth Day. Meeting these magnificent fellow creatures might be a fine way to celebrate. Read more

Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter: A story-driven wildlife doc where creatures become characters with names so young audiences can appreciate the natural cycles of life -- and death -- in the animal world. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: A visually and aurally stunning film that brings viewers up close and very personal with several "big cat" families - as well as a dazzling array of other safari-esque species - living in Kenya's sprawling Masai Mara National Reserve. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: "African Cats," while often adorable and at times gripping, is more of a TV-ready experience. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Kids will love "African Cats," which is full of "aw" moments. Their parents will appreciate that narrator Samuel L. Jackson keeps things from getting too schmaltzy in this true-life depiction of the circle of life. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: It's deeply involving and primally moving. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute. Read more

Derek Adams, Time Out: Hats off to the camera operators who have captured some astonishing wildlife imagery. Read more

Andrew Barker, Variety: Astounding wildlife footage is given a kid-friendly narrative hook, but never overly cuddlified, in Keith Scholey's African Cats. Read more

Nick Schager, Village Voice: If it maintains a superficially manipulative facade, the film remains committed to addressing the harsh realities of existence on the plains. Read more

Sandie Angulo Chen, Washington Post: "African Cats" prefers less preaching and more heartstring-tugging. It works, of course, especially if you're trying to raise your own cubs to adulthood. Read more