African Cats Unleashed by Disneynature for Earth DayApr 24th, 2011 | By Roy Rasmussen | Category: Green Living
Disneynature continued its emerging Earth Day tradition this year by releasing African Cats, a documentary about lions and cheetahs trying to survive on the African savanna. After earning $1.7 million in advance ticket sales, the film pulled in $3.3 million from 1,220 theaters Friday, a strong performance for a nature documentary that put African Cats in Friday’s box office top five, behind Hop.
African Cats follows the story of several feline families, focusing on lioness Layla and her cub Mara, mother cheetah Sita and her five newborns, and lion pride leader Fang. Layla struggles to raise Mara despite a life-threatening injury. Sita must protect her cubs from other cheetahs, lions, and hyenas. Fang, hindered by a broken tooth, must defend his throne against a challenger from another pride.
African Cats is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, currently playing S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury in Thor and Captain America. The film features the song “The World I Knew” by Season Six American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, along with music composed by Harry Potter series composer Nicholas Hooper.
African Cats is directed by British nature show producers Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill. Scholey and Fothergill are both veterans of David Attenborough’s crew. Scholey is executive producer of the series North America for the Discovery Channel. Fothergill was executive producer of the award winning series The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. The film is produced by Scholey and nature documentary producer Alix Tidmarsh.
African Cats is distributed by Disneynature, a unit of Disney based in France, headed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France Senior Vice President and General Manager Jean-Francois Camilleri. This is the third year in a row Disneynature has released a documentary to celebrate Earth Day. April 22, 2009 saw the American premiere of Earth, a companion to the 2006 BBC/Discovery/NHK television series Planet Earth, showcasing the global diversity of habitats and their inhabitants. April 22, 2010 followed up with Oceans, an exploration of Earth’s five oceans and the denizens of the deep.
A portion of the film’s proceeds are being donated to the African Wildlife Foundation and their effort to preserve Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor and protect lions and cheetahs. For each ticket sold from April 22 through 28, Disneynature will make a donation.