Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Disney Nature had done it again; they’ve produced a nature documentary that educates, moves and entertains! Past successes include Oceans, Earth and African Cats. This year Disney Nature presents Chimpanzee, in theaters Earth Day (April 20, 2012).
In this documentary, we travel deep into the forests of Africa to meet Oscar, a young Chimpanzee and his family. His antics and adventures lead us to discover the intelligence and ingenuity of this amazing species.

A 100 page educational guide is available and contains lesson plans and activities geared towards grades 2-6. All lessons are aligned with National Standards and include audio and visual clips and ready made PowerPoint presentations on topics like: Animal adaptations, habitats and Ecosystems, Animal behavior, use of tools and communication. Also covered are the important topics of protecting and making a positive difference for wildlife worldwide.

When I was an assistant principal, I made arrangements and took grades 4-8 to see Earth and Oceans on two different Earth Days. It was a great way to celebrate and reinforce awareness of global issues. The kids loved both movies and felt it was a real treat to go to the movies on a school day. The theater made special arrangements and gave us a wonderful package of ticket, soda and popcorn for $5 per student.

I’m especially excited about this year’s movie Chimpanzee. As you may know, I volunteer at the Center for Great Apes in Wachula, Florida,  which is a sanctuary for Orangutans and Chimpanzees who were formally in the entertainment industry, non accredited zoos, research facilities or were exotic pets. In all cases, once they became bigger and more dangerous, they were no longer wanted. The Center provides them a safe, enriching environment in which to live out their natural lives in as close to the wild as possible. The love and care they receive is inspiring and the people who run the Center are awesome, dedicated people! It’s a privilege to volunteer there.

I’m hoping every parent will bring their children to see this movie. I hope adults will see it as well. It’s so important that we become aware and involved in the humane treatment of animals. Watching Disney Nature allows us to see these creatures in the wild and within their family groupings. We can come to know them and understand the universal interconnectedness of all living things.

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  1. Good for Disney! I loved their other Earth Movies!

  2. Can't wait.Thanks for sharing so many articles on important environmental and wildlife issues.Keep up the good work!