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Born in China: Disney nature doc geared at educating young audiences

Born in China is a nature documentary that featues pandas.


2.5 out of 4 stars

Born in China
Written by
David Fowler, Brian Leith, Phil Chapman and Chuan Lu
Directed by
Chuan Lu
Featuring the voice of John Krasinski

The latest in the series of yearly Disney nature documentaries travels to the mountains of China to spend time with the likes of cranes, golden snub-nosed monkeys, chiru, snow leopards, and, of course, pandas. Clocking in at barely 75 minutes (including credits that are worth sticking around for), Born in China doesn't reinvent or improve on the nature documentary form in any way. It's a dedicated delivering of educational basics geared toward a younger audience, wrapped in made-up stories about real animal families, replete with corny narration warmly delivered by John Krasinski. There's a little bit of peril and mayhem, but mostly of the variety that won't give kiddies nightmares. As always with these Disney docs, the cinematography is patient and resplendent, and for once there's even a bit of tragedy that's well-handled. On the whole, it's fine for what it is, and outside of baby panda cubs remaining some of the cutest things on the planet, the real attraction here is a glimpse at the reclusive snow leopard in its natural habitat.

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