Parents' Guide to

Born to Be Wild

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Sweet, inspiring tale of two wildlife fairy godmothers.

Movie G 2011 40 minutes
Born to Be Wild Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 3+

A great first nature documentary for kids

This was a great way to spend 40 minutes of family movie time. It's educational for everyone, and gives kids a chance to see animals showing much more personality than they do during a typical day at the zoo. You can really feel for the orphaned elephants and orangutans, and I think it helps young viewers develop empathy toward animals. Morgan Freeman's narration is an added bonus. I asked my kids if they recognize the voice of the narrator. I think they do, but they haven't consciously realized yet that they know him as the voice of Vitruvius from The LEGO Movie. :-) Anyone can enjoy this film, adults and kids alike. While it's shorter than most features, the length is just right to hold the attention of young viewers. It has a good environmentalist message, but it's not preachy, just very matter-of-fact. Parents will get some laughs too, seeing similarities between young orangutans and their own kids. Don't realistically expect your kids to demand to watch this over and over, since it is a documentary, and moves at a more adult pace. (There aren't superheroes and explosions every other minute.) But that's also really refreshing. My son who is almost 3 was really engaged in the film and out of curiosity began asking me what various animals eat.
age 5+

Educational and Lovely!!

Wonderful story - highly recommend to any family with children 5 and older!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Narrated by the soothing tones of Morgan Freeman, this documentary makes up for in content what it lacks in length. At a sprightly 40 minutes, it's just long enough to entertain even younger moviegoers with short attention spans. It may not always provide the most comprehensive view of the elephant and orangutan crisis (there's no sociopolitical commentary about why local practices contribute to the hunting of the adult elephants and orangutans), but it does provide an in-depth look at how two determined women, with the help of dozens of animal-loving staffers, have single-handedly made a tremendous impact on wildlife protection around the world.

It's hard to dislike a documentary that focuses on adorable baby animals. Watching a team of Indonesian women put diapers on newborn orangutan orphans and then sing a sweet lullaby as one of the babies falls asleep will be enough to make any mothers in the audience shed a tear or two. But despite the often-sentimental visuals, director David Lickley doesn't allow the narration to be overwrought or maudlin. Instead, he often hands over the narration to Galdikas and Sheldrick so that they can tell us in their own words why they're so passionate about these animals -- and why we should care about their plight. And even better than the touching documentary are the conversations you and your kids can have afterward about the enormity of the work of these dedicated experts.

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