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Born to Be Wild / Rated G for Orangutans in both diapers and totally naked. And Elephants rolling in dirt.

For the older crowd who experienced movies in the theaters in the 1960’s this is not a biker gang film. Nancy Sinatra and Kris Kristofferson are not in this movie.

The only actor you will recognize is the voice of the narrator. Morgan Freeman’s smooth and soothing tones add a strata of entertainment just like in the 2005 film March of the Penguins.

Born to Be Wild is a true-life animal film. Shot on location in Kenya and Borneo it chronicles the efforts of two caring women to raise and nurture orphaned rrangutans and baby elephants. This is not easy to do. Just try it if you don’t believe me. Trust me for sure when I tell you that if you are a fan of baby animal movies this one is right up your jungle.


Running at just 40 minutes it is showing in IMAX 3-D and in some places IMAX 4-D. It claims to be the first movie to shoot 12 scenes with new 4-D cameras. After sitting through the movie, I still don’t know which ones they are.

Much of the film is based on watching the apes misbehave and the baby elephants drink gallons and gallons of milk and roll around in dirt. An obvious scene to film if you are making a film with apes that act up is to place them in a room alone with lots of human objects and watch the destruction. They do the obvious.

While not in the same league as the Penguin movie or even other like films such as An Elephant Called Slowly (1971), Hatari, the John Wayne and Red Buttons comedy adventure from 1962 and the greatest of them all, Born Free from 1966, it is worth 40 minutes if you like any or all of the above.

The IMAX 3-D photography is crystal clear and the depth makes the experience very realistic. Mark Mothersbaugh provides a full symphonic score with orchestra and chorus that adds drama and wonder where none otherwise exists. They could have left out a couple of songs that are thrown in during the funny apes-acting-up scenes. We can see the animals are funny and don’t really need the songs to remind us to laugh.

The short running time would fit this film perfectly into a 60 minute TV presentation including commercials. For a few in the theater there was a surprise when the credits rolled up seemingly right after they had taken their seats.

Rated 2.8 out of 4.0 more reasons to explore the 1920s and 1930s fils of pioneering naturalists Martin and Osa Johnson.


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