African Cats was released today, Earth Day, but I think it’s really the perfect Mother’s Day movie. It’s about African Cats, yes, but it’s also about the protective instincts that a mother has for her babies.
The story is about two families, one of a polygamist lion and his many wives and the other about a single mother of 5 cheetah cubs. The cheetah, Sita, must protect her cubs from the dangers of the wild while traveling to get food. The other family is a pride of lionesses and their cubs ruled by Fang, the lion.
It was beautifully filmed by Disneynature in the Masai Mara National Reserve on the border of Tanzania. The story is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and it’s really engaging.
It follows the cats as they hunt down a herd of antelope, their main source of food. The lionesses are ruled by Fang, but they are the ones fighting to protect their young. One of the more touching stories is about Mara, a lioness cub whose mother is injured. After many battles to protect her cub, the mother knows the end is near. She makes an effort to get close to one of her lioness sisters so she will take in her cub and raise her.
Even more touching is the bravery of Sita, the cheetah. She’s all alone in a dangerous place taking on lions and hyenas and other cheetahs to protect her cubs.
I know that Disney goes for the heartstrings, but it really worked here. I took my kids to a screening of the movie mostly because I thought they would enjoy it, which they did, but I ended up really liking it.