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Running Time:
1 hr. 19 minutes

Rating: G General Audiences.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Capturing both the beauty of China's wild spaces, and the charm of its creatures, in ways that will delight and educate viewers of all ages.

Born In China
This G-rated latest effort from the Disney studio not only lives up to this great Disney tradition, it exceeds it. Utilizing remarkable camerapeople from around the world who will wait in harsh, isolated conditions for months just to get a shot of an elusive animal, this film might be the most ambitious yet in that it travels to remote, almost uncharted areas in China, a country more known for its bustling cities and large human population.

Born in China takes us to places where we are able to follow the lives of a mother panda and her adorable offspring, the majestic snow leopard and her two cubs for whom she must constantly find food, the golden snub-nosed monkey who is trying to win attention away from his baby sister, the migrating and marauding pack of chiru and the incredible red-crowned cranes who open and close the film with a message of the circle of life that is so indigenous to the continent. The film divides its sections into the seasons, beginning and ending with spring. It’s a useful story device as we get to alternately chart the progress of all these creatures and become engrossed in their journeys — at times playful, thrilling, dangerous and heartbreaking.

What is astonishing about all of this is what director Lu Chuan and producers Roy Conli, Brian Leith and Phil Chapman — manage to get onscreen. But even better is the way they tie it all together, making each section character-driven and endlessly fascinating and fun to watch. Helping matters is a terrific musical score from Emmy winner Barnaby Taylor that manages to blend traditional Chinese sounds with a sweeping orchestral sound that works wonders. It took three years to put this all together, but the 400 hours of footage edited down to a fast-paced 75 minutes is well worth the effort. Born in China is a treat for families everywhere.

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