The entire feature was shot in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, which borders the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. One of the best preserved savanna systems in the world, Masai Mara provided stunning backdrops and gorgeous vistas which are dropped in throughout the movie. Even with an abundance of animal life and fantastic scenery, it took the filmmakers two years and hundreds of hours of filming to craft the story of African Cats.
The true hidden gem of the film’s extras, however, comes in the form of the commentary viewing option. This presentation included pop-up informational tidbits, picture-in-picture interviews with the filmmakers, and breakaway featurettes which could be viewed or passed on by the viewer. These breakout videos include a wealth of information on the Masai Mara, slow motion filmmaking, aerial filming, cinematographers, elephants, flimmakers’ camp, vehicles, rain, filming with Cineflex camera, field assistants and tracking the animals, life in the field, and the musical score.
African Cats originally came with the subtitle, Kingdom of Courage, a title befitting the experience of the filmmakers capturing these tales on film and the cats struggling to raise their precious families. The ability to see and explore these wild arenas, where animal families interact in ways that are similar and strikingly different to our own family groups, is remarkable. African Cats will stun you with its beauty and stories that hit remarkably close to home. The filmmakers have done their job well, you will feel for the cheetahs and lions and, if we’re very lucky, this new True-Life Adventure is only just the tip of the iceberg that will renew our, and our children’s, interest in preserve the wild places left in the world.