First-rate nature documentary from Disney with lots of amazing footage which captures the Amazon jungle life up close in a way that could hardly be improved upon even with the help of today's more advanced technology. There are exciting fight scenes (the film does not shy away from the violence inherent in nature), moments of comedy and playful tenderness, and a variety of beautiful and/or strange creatures (those sloths certainly live up to their name!) *** out of 4.
Reviewed by AlsExGal8 / 10
More jungle than cat
I give it a high rating considering that Disney was a pioneer in nature films as family entertainment. Decades before the Discovery Channel, Disney and his filmmakers were winning awards for these films. Cinematography has come a long way in the ensuing 58 years, but this film captures close ups and action shots of the wildlife without giving the viewer headaches. Just compare anything Disney did in the 40s and 50s to the entertaining 1974 nature film "Animals are Beautiful People". I loved the jokes, but I hated the headache I got from the blurred photography that simply could not keep up with the motion of the animals. Now back to the story.
The film's main focus is a spotted female jaguar living in the South American jungle who chooses a black male jaguar as a mate and produces two cubs - one being identical to dad and one identical to mom. They are portrayed as being a family unit throughout the film, probably to humanize them so people could relate, even though jaguars actually separate after mating.
To supplement the footage of the jaguars, there is a discussion of many of the animals living in this ecosystem including the otter, the capybara ( a rodent), the monkeys - who are vegetarians and live in the treetops - who tease the sloth, and the tapir, which is a favorite prey of the jaguar. It is these other animals who, though fascinating, act as filler for the story of the jungle cat. The finale of the film shows the adult male jaguar in a face off with a giant boa constrictor, and where they fight very definitely determines the outcome of the battle.
I'd recommend this one as it is still entertaining today both in its form and substance.
Reviewed by SnoopyStyle8 / 10
old style nature film
This is the last of Disney's A TRUE-LIFE ADVENTURE Feature. It follows a female jaguar in the Amazon as well as the wild life world she comes in contact with. There's the wild Iguazu Falls before it's over-run by tourists. The sloth is endearing and a real eye-opener back then. The lengthy battle between the jaguar and the anaconda is epic.
This is an old style nature film. Disney has been called out for manipulating footage. Certainly, they humanized the animals to make them relateable. It's an old fashion concept. Old photographs of Civil War battlefields were manipulated as much as these films. It was another era. While one can talk about some of these deficiencies, one also cannot deny the wide-spread appeal of these films and its influence on nature-conservation.