One of the first nature documentaries to get the 3-D treatment, “Born to Be Wild” presents young orangutans and elephants in their native settings. Filmmakers focused on two scientists who believe wild animals should roam free in their natural habitats rather than being kept in zoos.
In Borneo, primatologist Birutė Galdikas works with orphaned orangutans until they’re ready to survive on their own. As shown in the clip embedded above, the documentary also travels to Kenya, where young elephants play soccer under the guidance of Daphne Sheldrick. The rule of thumb for both researchers boils down to a simple formula: rescue, rehabilitate and return.
This film soars with its naturalistic story of humor. Some credit must go to the personalities of its featured stars, the elephants and organgutans. Morgan Freeman lends his distinctive voice to this wholesome yet rich project. Listening to Freeman’s voice is like listening to an old friend who has dropped in for a visit.
The cinematography is outstanding as the viewer is transported to Nairobi and can take in the beauty and landscape and of course enjoy the distinctive personalities of the elephants and orangutans. One orangutan takes a bath with soap and is quite comical as he acts very human-like, except for when he starts eating and enjoying the soap! Another orangutan drinks two jugs of milk at the same time and his enjoyment is obvious. We see the mother-like compassion of Daphne Sheldrick, who cares for the orphaned orangutans until they become independent enough to go solo. Also, the same can be said of a man named Edwin, the head keeper, who cares for the elephants and places a blanket on one as he sleeps.
One orangutan, named Hombre, is more of a comedian than the others and puts on a show for anyone who will watch. In a contrasting set of scenes we see the orangutans playing happily with Sheldrick and then we see a frightened elephant and its keepers trying to calm the animal down. It seems that humans killed the elephant’s family and they attempt to regain its trust. Near the film’s end we see a couple of grown and now-independent orangutans set free in the wild. This film takes the viewer into the jungles and barns and opens up a window of beauty which many can only see via this movie.
This film is filled with personality, thanks to the wonderful animals which the film focuses on, and we are pleased to award the movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. Take your family to see “Born to be Wild”. You will be glad you did!