Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Chimp "adoption" documentary has some scary moments.

Movie G 2012 78 minutes
Chimpanzee Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 16+

Couldn’t finish watching

Too much for me and my 9 year old. Too many scary moments and very sad at times. The death of Oscar’s mother was devastating and led to many tears. Beautiful cinematography but would not watch again.
age 12+

Not for sensitive kids

Even my 11 year old couldn't watch past the death of oscars mother. Really detailed account of him being alone and rejected. Later adoption doesn't make it ok for my children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17 ):
Kids say (10 ):

Nature documentaries are almost always visually dazzling, and Chimpanzee is no exception. Fothergill's team (as viewers learn in the end credits) endured all manner of inconveniences and injuries to capture these intimate shots of the chimpanzees and their surroundings. Whether it's a close-up of the chimps lazily grooming each other, an action sequence of them executing a Colobus monkey hunt, or just a sweeping pan of the entire forest landscape, the camera work is precise and evocative of a world that most of us will never see in person.

Where Chimpanzee falters is its narration. While Allen's joke-filled monologue will please some viewers, those who prefer less made-up animal "dialogue" and more straightforward, observational narration will find Allen a tad gimmicky. His narration doesn't just explain what's happening -- it inserts conversations and thoughts like "What an idiot" that are a bit over the top and unnecessary. Ultimately, not much "happens" in Chimpanzee, but it's still an amazing look at the rare bond between an alpha male and his youngest kin. It's delightful, if at times heartbreaking, to watch a society of chimpanzees collaborate and interact in ways that are incredibly similar to human beings.

Movie Details

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