Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Apr 19, 2011
    90
    The cinematography and editing are as superb as the film's feline stars are photogenic and heroic.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Apr 20, 2011
    88
    Almost every shot is a postcard-perfect African vista, and every animal shown in majestic close-up.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Apr 22, 2011
    83
    Not coincidentally, African Cats opens on Earth Day. Meeting these magnificent fellow creatures might be a fine way to celebrate.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Apr 19, 2011
    80
    The film captures a wealth of spectacular and wrenching conflicts, and even if its ability to spin a story out of the footage falls somewhat short of the gold standard set by "March of the Penguins," it's nonetheless a remarkably cohesive piece of work.
  5. Reviewed by: Sandie Angulo Chen
    Apr 23, 2011
    75
    Ultimately, this is a universal story about how these wild mothers, like their human counterparts, sacrifice again and again - all to make sure their children are happy, healthy and well fed.
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Apr 22, 2011
    75
    No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 22, 2011
    75
    Kids will love African Cats, which is full of "aw" moments. Their parents will appreciate that narrator Samuel L. Jackson keeps things from getting too schmaltzy in this true-life depiction of the circle of life.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 21, 2011
    75
    This is Disneynature's third and best release, after 2009's "Earth" and 2010's "Oceans." With its compelling narrative of survival, it will probably be the one that most enthralls audiences.
  9. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Apr 21, 2011
    75
    Though African Cats is G-rated, scenes of animals chowing down on other animals are not for the faint of heart or delicate of stomach. I don't think it's suitable for those under 6, and they should be prepared for real animal behavior. But it's deeply involving and primally moving.
  10. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Apr 21, 2011
    70
    Despite its family-friendly trappings, "Cats" is largely serious stuff; deliberately paced, thematically dark and often wistfully told, with enough moments of survival-oriented tension and dread to question its G rating.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 19, 2011
    70
    That visual beauty helps compensate for a script that wastes no opportunity for heartstring tugging, often in the form of adorable tykes playing with each other and cuddling with their elders in close-up.
  12. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Apr 19, 2011
    70
    Directors Keith Scholey (who also wrote the narration) and Alastair Fothergill spent nearly three years capturing this remarkable footage, and have edited it judiciously with an eye to entertainment.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Apr 21, 2011
    63
    Scholey, Fothergill, and crew do impressive work, but we're also reminded that wild animals don't know from cues, marks, and scripts. That's part of what makes them so compelling.
  14. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Apr 16, 2012
    60
    It's a must see for fans of roar footage.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 21, 2011
    55
    Mostly, though, African Cats is extremely tactful about the truly harsh stuff that goes down in the world of nature.
  16. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Apr 21, 2011
    50
    May be Disney's most pointedly feminist effort since "Mulan."
  17. Reviewed by: Rachel Saltz
    Apr 21, 2011
    50
    At one point the lions make a meal of a lovely young zebra they've just killed. That spelled the end for the little boy sitting next to me. "I'm too scared," he said, and he dragged his mom out of the theater. Sorry, kid, it's a jungle out there, even in Disneynature.
  18. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 27, 2011
    40
    This Earth Day release has honorable intentions, but it imbues the animals with human emotions and motives, which only muddies our understanding of these ferocious feline species.
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 22, 2011
    40
    African Cats, while often adorable and at times gripping, is more of a TV-ready experience.
  20. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Apr 19, 2011
    40
    Since this is a House of Mouse production, sentimental order must inevitably be grafted onto nature's pitiless chaos. The cornball voiceover ascribes human wants and desires to the animals.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Apr 24, 2011
    6
    Alright, if you want a more badass version of March of the Penguins, it has arrived. Swap cute little penguins with f*cking lions and smooth, calm Morgan Freeman with SAMUEL L. F*CKING JACKSON. In other words, you have no choice but to love it, even if you don't care about the subject. Full Review »
  2. SMH
    Apr 23, 2011
    10
    This film is truly amazing. Disney should get an award for this. It's a true gift from disney. Anyone who watches this film is lucky to experience the incredible close-up view of these animals in the wild. Because I am an avid animal lover, I did have to cover my eyes once or twice. But I know that confrontations between the animals are just the unfortunate reality of the situation. Thank You Disney. Full Review »
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    8
    An intriguingly intense, beautifully filmed and remarkably touching film that plays out like a live-action LION KING (minus the singing warthog, of course). Two of my boys (ages 6 and 4) found the non-graphic and relatively bloodless hunt-for-dinner scenes a little intense but they still ended up loving it (and, most importantly, sitting still for a 90-minute documentary). I'll celebrate Earth Day by not burning Styrofoam in my driveway if you celebrate it by taking your family to see Disneynature's AFRICAN CATS. Full Review »