The majestic voice of Morgan Freeman narrates this grand documentary about a team of humans who care for baby animals. This may be the first film in recent years worthy of the technology marshaled to make it spectacular. Shot in IMAX and 3D, Born to Be Wild is about two women in different times and spaces who take it upon themselves to shelter, defend and raise, orphaned orangutans and elephants. The film, which runs less than one hour, will not only captivate with its scale but engage with its tale. Sometimes humans rise to the occasion: this movie documents that moment in the biggest possible way. Promotion is good, and focuses on the heartstrings, which is smart. Parents will want to stay for this one, and some adults will attend even if they don't have a kid handy, so box office prospects are good.
The central figures are Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick. The Doctor runs The Orangutan Foundation International in the Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Borneo, and the Dame is the founder of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. The two women have strikingly similar stories despite coming from very different backgrounds and researching very different species. Dr. Galdikas as been studying and caring for orphaned orangutans since establishing her foundation in the early 1970s; Dame Sheldrick set-up the wild life trust after the death of her husband in 1977, though her work with orphaned elephants dates back to the 1950s. Both women are wholly dedicated to the care and protection of these animals and their eventual release back into a protected wild. The sincerity and dedication of these women and the native caretakers who work with them is unquestionable, and their success is more than just admirable, it's astounding.
The stories of these animals, all of whom have names and personalities, who love and think and fear and need, are enough to keep one fascinated; captured in IMAX and 3D makes Born to Be Wild tantamount to going on Safari at a theater near you.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: David Lickley
Producer: Drew Fellman
Running time: 40 min.
Release date: April 8 ltd.