Born in China Parent Review
Families are the focus of they DisneyNature documentary that shows the beauty of China and the amazing animals that are born there.
In honor of Earth Day 2017, DisneyNature gives us the chance to look at the lives of a few different animals that call China their home. Even though it is the third largest country on earth, and populated by over one billion people, many parts of the landmass remain untouched by humans. It is in these remote places that we meet those featured in Born in China.
This documentary follows families from several different species, specifically focusing on the love mothers have for their young. We get to see a giant panda cradle her newborn, a snow leopard provide for her cubs, a young monkey find his place in the community and other animals navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood. A narrator (John Krasinski) leads us through the film and his voice often provides humor and personality to the animals’ behavior.
It took no time at all for me to become attached to these different critters as I watched them play with each other and work together. Because some shown here are prey and others predators, the script has to be creative in its depictions of conflict to help the audience know who they should be cheering on in different situations. I found myself relived when a hawk missed a young monkey, yet saddened when a mother leopard missed a goat that would have fed her cubs.
I was impressed by how well this balance of nature was approached without shying away from explaining that some animals need to hunt others in order to survive. In fact, the most emotional moment comes as a snow leopard tries to hunt a baby yak to feed her cubs. The yak’s mother is aggressive in defending her child and the narrator makes sure to explain that both moms are simply trying to do what is best for their children.
The main concerns for younger viewers will be depictions of animal protagonists in peril, and the violence that breaks out between some of these creatures. Animals fight over territory and food, and this occasionally leads to injury and/or death. Although no details are shown on screen, recently deceased bodies are seen on a few occasions.
Born in China is an enjoyable journey that captures the beauty of China’s landscapes as well. The stories are shared in a personal way that is very fun and enlightening. Children and adults alike will walk away knowing more about these amazing indigenous species, along with a greater understanding of how all of nature is tied together.Directed by Chuan Lu. Starring Xun Zhou. Running time: 79 minutes. Theatrical release April 21, 2017. Updated April 26, 2017
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Born in China here.
Born in China Parents Guide
Why is it so important for the young animals to stay close to their families? How will watching their parents prepare them for life on their own as adults? How is this similar for human children?
Why is it so much easier to care about the animals with names and stories? What if the script was told from another animal’s point of view? How would our feelings be different?
How does the narrator help the audience know who to cheer for when two animals engage in life and death battles? Is one species more important than another? Why do we often want to choose a favorite?