Disneynature’s Born in China showcases the magic and mystery of China’s exotic wildlife. The film takes audiences on an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the world’s most extreme environments to witness intimate moments in the lives of these animals.
A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey, who feels displaced by his new baby sister, joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely seen by human eyes—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on Earth.
The film also features the rarely filmed chiru and the revered red-crowned crane. “These are animals that, for the most part, could only be filmed in China,” says nature filmmaker, Phil Chapman. “I’ve never worked on a project that had such an extreme shooting ratio. But as we sat and went through the rushes, watching and cataloging everything, these dramatic and touching stories began to emerge.”
Chinese filmmaker, Lu Chuan, says, “The footage was just great. I realized a nature movie is not so different from a feature film. I wanted to make a special movie—not just for audiences, but also for myself. I wanted to show how these animals are metaphors. They give birth, like we do. They do their best to raise their cubs, like we do. They succeed and they fail. And when they fail, consequences can be dire. Their drive to do what is best for their families resonates with all of us.”
Panda Fun Facts
- Giant pandas stand between 5’2” and 6’2”. Males weigh 190-275 pounds, while females weigh 155-220 pounds.
- Pandas live about 14-20 years in the wild.
- The average female produces 5-8 cubs in her lifetime. She can start reproducing at 4-5 years old.
- Cubs weigh 3-5 ounces at birth—about the size of a stick of butter. Mom is 900 times bigger.
- Cubs are born pink, hairless and blind.
- Pandas leave their mothers for good at about age 3.
- Pandas eat up to 40 pounds of bamboo every day.
- Pandas live a solitary lifestyle, but they do communicate with each other with sounds and scent.
- They make goat-like cries and squeaks.
- Giant pandas will scratch tree bark with their massive claws as a visual sign of where they’ve been—it’s like they’re writing a quick note to their friends.
Visit the official site here. Opens in theaters April 21, 2017. Based on opening-week attendance, Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the WWF to help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China.
Photo Credits: © 2017 Disneynature. All rights reserved.