Disneynature's Chimpanzee has the makings of a great nature documentary. It takes us places other films haven't and shows us sights we haven't seen on any screen. Visually, it's a triumph of intrepid nature-documentary filmmaking, with an extraordinary and heartwarming twist in the lives of a chimpanzee community. Yet, like other recent nature flicks, including Arctic Tale and African Cats, it's wrapped in increasingly tiresome, condescending, kiddie-movie packaging. It's like discovering a rare dish prepared by eminent chefs, drizzled with waxy treacle and stuffed in a Happy Meal box.
The chefs are Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, superstars of the nature-documentary world; their credits, jointly and severally, include the landmark BBC series Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and The Life of Mammals, along with the big-screen spin-offs Earth and Deep Blue. My appreciation for their work is immense; there are few filmmakers in whose hands I would more readily place 90 minutes of my life with as few qualms.
You can read the rest of Steven Greydanus' review at the (US) National Catholic Register.