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Chimpanzee (2012)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 94
Fresh: 70 | Rotten: 24

Chimpanzee often anthropomorphizes its subjects, but it's a beautifully filmed, remarkably intimate look at the lives of a family of primates.


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 9

Chimpanzee often anthropomorphizes its subjects, but it's a beautifully filmed, remarkably intimate look at the lives of a family of primates.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 97,914

My Rating

Movie Info

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 leaves Oscar to fend for himself with a little help from an unexpected ally. -- (C) Disneynature




Aug 21, 2012


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All Critics (95) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (24)

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

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (14)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: TheWrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 anthropomorphizes its simian subjects.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (8)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 downright enlightening.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's beautifully photographed, whimsically narrated by Tim Allen and keeps completely schtum about the rough sex and the cannibalism.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

As a primate primer for the younger end of the family market, Chimpanzee does a good job of inspiring awe in our closest cousins and doesn't stint on harsh "circle of life" lessons ...

May 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Scotsman

The presentation makes one wince, and the most striking footage is some behind-the-scenes shots that accompany the credits.

May 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Chimpanzees share 96 per cent of our DNA and a common Pan Prior ancestry. We'll bet they're embarrassed to admit as much when they see this.

May 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

With no sign of Tarzan there's little genuine drama in Chimpanzee and this film probably won't save any rainforests, but it's heartfelt, beautifully shot and you'll never use a nutcracker without thinking of little Oscar.

May 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Cuteness proximity alert! Cuteness proximity alert!

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Words (narration by Tim Allen) and syrupy music let it down but it's still great to watch.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The final five minutes give location interviews with the hardworking camera crew, and this is the only time when this plasticky film comes alive.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

Even by the standards of sentimental nature documentaries, Disney's Chimpanzee borders on the pathetic.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The chimpanzees play to their stereotype in this charming documentary that's beautiful to watch and often funny, however Tim Allen's jovial voiceover can be rather irritating after a while.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Clever editing enhances the drama, while time-lapse sequences and crystal-clear photography complete a captivating picture of jungle life.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Linfield and Fothergill, colleagues from the BBC Natural History unit, who worked together on the series Planet Earth, remain cheerful throughout. Their passion for Mother Nature shines through in every frame.

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Scenes of chimps bending and weaving tree-branches to create makeshift beds, or the touching moments of Oscar's first attempt to climb a tree unaided will provoke wonder and fascination in adults and children alike.

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Gives us a hero to root for, but it's not coy on the tougher side of the natural world either.

April 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's more aww-inducing than awe-inducing, but there's plenty of chimp-powered charm to go around.

April 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

Chimpanzee intermittently veers into Disney-esque cheese - seriously, a 'bad' monkey named Scar? - but is otherwise a delight.

April 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Disney finally found a voice for this series, and they did it by going back to what made them successful in the first place.

August 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

For some reason, Disney thought it would be a brilliant idea to have overrated and "shoot me in my face" irritating actor/comedian Tim Allen to talk over the ape action. What a horrible idea!

May 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine | Comment (1)
Sin Magazine

We get a dumbed-down narration (by Tim Allen) that telegraphs what the audience should be feeling at every second.

May 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Has the makings of a great nature documentary … If only Allen didn't keep elbowing us in the ribs to make sure that we get it.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Audience Reviews for Chimpanzee

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 of 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.
September 12, 2012
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

This was really great. Rather snarky narration for a disney flick. Beautifully filmed and you'll only tear up a little bit. Probably.
August 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

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 brutality of the animals' lives. Overall Rating: 84
April 22, 2012
Bradley T. Johnson
Bradley J

Super Reviewer

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 the 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.
April 20, 2012
Nathan Castro

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Schimpansen (DE)
  • Chimpanzés (FR)
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