BORN IN CHINA (Lu Chuan). 79 minutes. Opens Friday (April 21). See listing. Rating: NN
In China, protests against smog and pollution can lead to police crackdowns. Citizens of Chengdu experienced that in December, when they raised their voices against “toxic clouds” above the city. That reaction is reportedly in line with the central government’s stance, which is fighting climate change but also controlling the narrative.
Maybe that’s why the new Disneynature doc Born In China never breathes a word about that country’s environmental problems. Global warming is one of the reasons the snow leopards featured in the film are endangered. But never mind that; just look at how cool they are.
Director Lu Chuan’s eye-popping dramatized look at animals in the wild has narrator John Krasinski putting thoughts in the heads of adorable pandas, rascally golden monkeys and a majestic snow leopard named Dawa.
That last narrative is the only intense one. Dawa’s struggle to feed and protect her cubs in her harsh world keeps us hoping she’ll make a kill while also feeling for a mama yak whose calf could become that meal.