Parents' Guide to

African Cats

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Nature docu emphasizes a mother's love and sacrifice.

Movie G 2011 90 minutes
African Cats Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 8+

Wonderful Movie/Documentary!

Wonderful documentary! There is no gore, and it portrays the emotions and lives of these beautiful animals perfectly! Very young or sensitive children might be sad at a few parts but I think they do a nice job keeping it G rated, and if the parents warn/explain those moments i think children will have an easier time understanding. I just watched it with my four children, my youngest is 9. She would have been too sensitive to watch it a couple years ago but she loved it tonight! however my three sons could have watched this as young as 7 years old, Every child and person is different and that is ok! It is a beautiful movie though that is very much worth watching in my opinion. I agree with what another person said about how most documentaries about predator animals are more intense/ more gorey sometimes showing dead cubs etc, this movie is not like that and they don't show graphic scenes like that. I think the sadder parts are done very well, the scenery is stunning, and you can't help fall in love with these beautiful cats!
age 18+

Too upsetting

I am 29, and found the mother Lion's death/Cheetah Cub's death too upsetting, there is no way I would let my 12 year old sister watch this. That being said, it is very well made and educational, but if you are a huge animal lover, this will break your heart.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (26 ):

Nature documentaries can be broken down into two key elements -- the photography and the narration/story arc -- and the images here are extraordinary. Veteran wildlife specialists Owen Newman and Sophie Darlington were the directors of photography for this film, and it's obvious they patiently waited for just the right shots. We get the expected hunting scenes that show Sita running with such beauty and elegance that you don't really care that she's about to down an equally elegant but not quite as fast gazelle. But there's also a lovely, domestic touch to the smaller scenes, whether it's of Sita's three remaining cubs playing with each other or standing their ground against bullying hyenas, or of the pride of lionesses and their cubs lounging on a flat rock and grooming each other.

As for the narration, Samuel L. Jackson tackles it with precision and heart. The script he reads is heavy-handed with the humanizing -- painting the mothers in such a way that we all think of them as the "good guys" and their animal kingdom enemies as the "bad guys." But it works for the purposes of this story, to make everyone think of the universality of motherhood and how even our counterparts in the wild will stop at nothing to get their kids safely to self sufficiency. Food, shelter, experience -- these are things that all mothers try to provide, and watching Sita and Layla do it with their feline kidlets is a satisfying, if at times heartbreaking, endeavor.

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