Here’s the set-up: Sita, the solo adult cheetah, has five adorable cubs to tend to. African Cats portrays not only her struggles to raise and teach her young the ways of the world, but also how incredibly endearing and playful the cubs are while they grow into adults.
The lion side of the story is a bit more complicated. African Cats follows two different prides. One pride has only one adult male, Fang, and the other has one reigning adult male, Kali, with three nearly adult sons. This causes a bit of tension once the two clans interact with each other. It also tests how close the bonds of the prides truly are.
All three stories are separate at first, but they all eventually collide with one another as the movie progresses.
Directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey collaborated to somehow mold hunting scenes and video of wildcats devouring carcasses into G-rated material. The cinematography is the most intriguing aspect of this documentary; the videographers captured seemingly unrealistic scenes and focus on the interactions of the cats with other species, the animals’ strong and prominent shoulders, and the bonds they create with one another.
Jackson’s compelling narration, combined with the sometimes-lighthearted, sometimes-intense script, and the beautifully breathtaking views of Africa and its inhabitants, makes for an enticing story for audiences of all ages.