The true story of Oscar, an abandoned infant chimpanzee left to fend for himself in Africa's jungle wilderness, is at the heart of this stunning documentary. Chimpanzee often anthropomorphizes its subjects, but it's a beautifully filmed, remarkably intimate look at the lives of a family of primates. Chimpanzee is so skillfully crafted, and the big-hearted outcome so endearing and entertaining, that any narrative liberties taken to aid in the telling of this prehensile tale are not only forgivable but welcome. It's beautifully photographed, whimsically narrated by Tim Allen and keeps completely schtum about the rough sex and the cannibalism. An eye-opening primer in cross-species similarity. We learn that apes are violent and territorial but also that they are capable of creativity and tenderness. 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. The stunning and mostly uncompromising visuals more than compensate for the frequent corny turns of phrase. Kids should especially like this magnificent and heartwarming look at the life of young Oscar. Walt Disney himself couldn't have scripted "Chimpanzee" any better.
VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)