Cheetah (1989)

Cheetah (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Cheetah Photos

Movie Info

In Disney's Cheetah, Keith Coogan and Lucy Deakins play two LA teenagers who aren't really looking forward to their upcoming trip to Kenya. Once in Africa, the kids change their minds when, together with local youth Collin Mohtupi, they befriend a cheetah cub. When the cub grows to maturity, it is necessary for Coogan and Deakins to reacclimate their domesticated pet to life in the wilds. The plot's menace is personified by a covetous store owner who hopes to exploit the cheetah at the local dog races. Cheetah is based on The Cheetahs, a novel by actor Alan Caillou.
Action & Adventure , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Robert Halmi Productions

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Richard Clarke
as Announcer
Frank C. Turner
as Greyhound Owner
Michael Rogers
as Racetrack Policeman
Breon Gorman
as Jean Johnson
Colin Mothupi
as Morogo
Ka Vundla
as Kipoin
Timothy Landfield
as Earl Johnson
Waigwa Wachira
as Racetrack Policeman
James K. Ward
as Announcer
Paul Onsongo
as Abdullah
Konga Mbandu
as Police Captain
Martin Okello
as Friendly Policeman
Allaudin Qureshi
as Patel's Cousin
Joseph "J.J." Otieno Adamson
as Band at the Blue Duka
David Adido
as Mwangi
Thomas Akare
as Bettor
Wally Amalemba
as Blue Duka Band Member
Denis Doughty
as Bettor
Jane Gelardi
as Announcer's Girlfriend
Lee Harvin
as Bettor
Tony Evans Kalanzi
as Blue Duka Band Member
Evalyne Kamau
as Nyambura
Aloysius Lazarus
as Greyhound Owner
Jan Maccoy
as Stewardess
Kelly Harry Ngetsa
as Blue Duka Band Member
Njorogue M. Ngoima
as Greyhound Owner
David Otieno
as Blue Duka Band Member
William Tsuma
as Cabbie
Frank Turner
as Greyhound Owner
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Critic Reviews for Cheetah

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Cheetah brings to focus the concerns of experts and laymen alike.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

'80s Disney live-action adventure with few perilous moments.

Full Review… | March 15, 2011
Common Sense Media

It's an exceedingly simple story using the lure of golden African locations, animal observation, and teen histrionics to coax viewers in, directed by a guy who used to craft Circle-Vision films for Epcot.

Full Review… | August 26, 2009

Despite spotty acting, the story is worth seeing for animal lovers.

Full Review… | January 28, 2005

There's a lot here that the kiddies will like, and it's delivered with a minimum of the outright schmaltz that's become so prevalent in Disney's more recent efforts.

Full Review… | July 11, 2002

An overly sentimental 'family film' that brings to mind the old Disney True-Life Adventures, Cheetah is a very old-fashioned movie. And that's not meant as a compliment.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Cheetah


It's no match for BORN FREE, but this tale of two California kids who team up with a friendly goat herder to rescue a cheetah from gamblers is good old-fashioned Disney fun. As expected, the cinematography of the African wilderness is beautiful and of course the title character, aptly named "Duma" (who doesn't turn up until about 15 minutes into the film), will capture your heart the moment you first set your eyes on her. There are shades of the aforementioned British lion story in this movie, particularly in the scenes where the kids attempt to train their household pet to become wild. But the real heart of the story is in their friendship with the native goat herder Morogo; the chemistry between them is funny and enjoyable to watch and one cannot help but root for them when they set off on their daring adventure to rescue their pet (even if it means purposely missing their flight home and lying to their parents to do so). CHEETAH will not go down as an all time great, but it's a pleasant way to spend 83 minutes, especially in the scenes involving the cheetah and the perils across Africa (particularly a brief elephant chase). And of course, the "Jumbo" song is catchy (listen carefully for a mention of "Hakuna matata!").

Jon Turner
Jon Turner

Alongside their legendary animated films, Disney is just as well known for their live-action features, of which "Cheetah" is one. This is a substandard effort, however, with lazy writing and an obvious story that has nothing new to offer. In a film like this, you come to expect great scenery and beautiful photography, and there certainly is plenty of that here. Unfortunately, there's not much else. The cheetah that is the star of the picture is magnificent and well-trained, but almost all of the other animals that are filmed are stock footage which is kind of unforgivable for a film of this nature. There's even one embarrassing scene in which young Lucy Deakins is bottle feeding a painfully obvious stuffed animal. Naturally, the film is aimed at kids, or more to the point stupid kids because the film is written at that level. Most of the adults here talk in very simple sentences, and a lot of the characters of different races and cultures are stereotypes who all conveniently speak decent English. If there's one thing the folks at Disney know is how much white people hate reading subtitles. Deakins and co-star Keith Coogan are appealing in their roles, however, but their story is less than thrilling. You never really feel like they're in any danger, and that has more to do with the pandering towards the audience than their young African guide. "Cheetah" is a film that I really tried to like. It's a harmless, good-natured family film, but that doesn't mean that it has to be this bland an uninspired. It's very possible that young, young children may like it, but today's kids are far more sophisticated than this painfully outdated film. It takes a story that's very basic to begin with and doesn't do much with it after the fact. We should be able to expect more from this brand.

Timothy Sanders
Timothy Sanders

oh god... i remember this movie and having to watch it and just being BORED OUT OF MY MIND... it was on disney channel all the time when i was a kid.

Kent Lundblad
Kent Lundblad

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