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All 13 Disneynature Movies, Ranked

1. Chimpanzee

Year: 2012
Director: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield

Narrator: Tim Allen
Monkey Kingdom might be the most enjoyable Disneynature film, but Chimpanzee is far-and-away the best. The filmmakers lucked into an actual story, and came away with evidence proving some long-held theories of chimp society. Even Jane Goodall came out to stump for this movie at the time. We follow Oscar from the time he’s a goofy toddler, learning how to open nuts by bashing it with a stick. (Warning: Tim Allen will make some of his hoo-hoo noises while narrating. Just deal with it.) Then there’s a raid from a rival chimps, led by a mean-looking jerk with a scar on his face. Central casting! Oscar’s mother, in classic Disney form, is killed. (Off-screen.) Oscar is still too young to survive without a nurturing parent to guide him, but the other mothers in the clan can’t accept the burden; they have their own children to deal with. Finally, the old-timer Freddie, the alpha male of the herd, takes him in. This altruistic behavior amongst chimpanzees had been hypothesized, but never captured on film before. And when little Oscar starts mimicking the old man (chimp see, chimp do!) it’s quite possibly the most adorable thing you’ll ever see. This summer we’ll see Disney’s motion-captured, computer-generated animals in The Lion King and I’m sure it will be great, especially when Beyoncé sings. But it’s good to know, even through the Disney lens, that we’ve got access to the real thing, too.

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