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BMZ Review: Born to Be Wild
By Ann Coates


Born to Be Wild 3D
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: October 19, 2011


Category: Reviews

The latest release from IMAX, Born to Be Wild 3D, acts as both a lively document of orphaned animals, and as a tribute to the people who have rescued and raised them.  Following the stories of orphaned elephants and orangutans, Born to Be Wild, examines and celebrates the rehabilitation of these animals while documenting some boisterous and amusing images of animals at play.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film introduces two exceptional women who have devoted their lives to saving orphaned animals.  In Borneo, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas rescues orangutans who have been left without family due to encroachment and habitat destruction.  In Kenya, Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick saves orphaned elephants whose mothers have been killed by poachers for their ivory tusks.  Being a family oriented film, Born to Be Wild only hints at the devastation and cruelty caused by humans.  The film spends more time celebrating these women and capturing the animals at play and reverie.

Photographed beautifully by cinematographer David Douglas, the film excels in its imagery from jubilant orangutans in a jungle gym to the more serene moments of an elephant falling asleep.  The 3D is also well done, allowing up close views of the animals, but suffers from a lack of brightness (as all 3D films do).  The film also provides some interesting visual parallels with the red soil of Kenya and the burnt orange of the orangutans -- both in the midst of lush green environments.

What is most fascinating in the film however is not the visuals, but rather the behavior of these wild animals.  Born to Be Wild masterfully captures the personalities and demeanor of the elephants and orangutans, sometimes appearing to have very human qualities.  Both animals are eerily human in the way they recognize and love their caretakers.  Similarly, both Dr. Galdikas and Dame Sheldrick show a true love for these animals as they act as their surrogate mothers.  It is a surprising glimpse into the animal world and only hints at the complexity of these creatures.

Despite their bond to their rescuers, ultimately these animals are wild and must return to their natural habitats.  Though the rehabilitation process is long and attachments grow, the animals must be let into the wild -- a bittersweet but necessary moment.  The film succeeds as a tribute to these animal rescuers, but also as a document of these truly amazing animals and their ability to survive and flourish.

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Additional BMZ Reviews of Born to Be Wild

Orphan Rescue in Africa and Indonesia by Ross Anthony

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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