Movie Review: Born To Be Wild 3D

Here’s the official synopsis from IMAX:

Born to be Wild 3D is an inspired story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans, elephants, and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them—saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, Born to be Wild 3D is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick, as they and their team rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild. Narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, Born to be Wild 3D is directed by David Lickley and written and produced by Drew Fellman.” — IMAX Movies

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this movie, unfortunately. If you’ve ever been to the IMAX, you know exactly what you’re going to see with Born to be Wild 3D. In classic IMAX fashion, the extremely high quality of the film makes you feel like you’re in the jungles. Seriously, I actually got a headache at times because the movie was so sharp and crisp. Thankfully, they used the 3D to enhance this feeling, instead of creating cheap thrills and sight gags. This movie is a perfect example of how 3D should be integrated into films.

Morgan Freeman narrates Born to be Wild 3D, which I can only assume is the next step in his plot for world domination. Much like in every other narration he has done, Freeman makes a fantastic guide through Kenya and Borneo. I was happy to see that it wasn’t just straight narration and video, though. It includes interviews with the Galdikas and Sheldrick, as well as their children and employees. This really helps to make you feel more connected to the environment.

Should we talk about the one reason why everyone wants to see this movie? Cute babies! That’s right, everyone. Born to be Wild 3D is so adorable, it should be illegal. They show many stages in the early lives of elephants and orangutans, all of which seem to be unstoppably cute. You won’t have any shortage of little critters playing around, having fun and falling over. Now, all of the cheek-pinchingly sweet little animals you’re seeing are orphans. This means that you do hear about how their parents were killed by poachers, but Born to be Wild 3D does a good job of keeping the sadness to a minimum. Don’t worry about your kids being scarred by some brutal scenes of poaching aftermath or any death scenes whatsoever.

Sadly, the rainbow-puppy-love fest does come to an end. Here’s my big complaint: the movie runs only forty minutes. Now, I understand that it’s a documentary. Also, most of the original IMAX movies only ran forty minutes to an hour. I get it, I do. If you look at the mainstream documentaries, most of them tend to run at feature length these days. If they cut it down to forty minutes, then so be it. But, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth seeing for the cost. With IMAX 3D tickets running around $11 or $12, a nuclear family could easily rack up $80-$100 including concessions. In these penny pinching times, is it worth it drop one hundred dollars on forty minutes of cute animals? Personally, I don’t think so.

While Born to be Wild 3D may be adorable, interesting and well narrated, it’s short length cripples the value of going to see it at a costly IMAX 3D theatre. I really did enjoy the forty minutes that it was on, don’t get me wrong. It’s fun and good hearted, but not worth the money for such a short movie. It kind of  felt like I was in high school again, having a teacher throw on a video to kill class time. If you really want to take your kids out for a fun movie night, Born to be Wild 3D is a good choice. Just be prepared for a hefty cost and not much to show for it.

I give Born to be Wild 3D 3 “Seriously Cute Monkeys” out of 5.

By Blake Edwards

0 thoughts on “Movie Review: Born To Be Wild 3D

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  1. I am debating whether to see this to shell out the big bucks for the 3D experience. Original Imax movies were never this expensive. The KC Zoo used to have an Imax theatre, and I grew up going to them at the Smithsonian in DC and the Fernbank in Atlanta.

    I have no idea why they cut it to be 40 minutes. If Disneynature can cut movies that are an hour and a half, there is no reason why they could not with these two subjects.

    Oh, and in Dallas, the last showtime for this film is 5:30 PM, which limits the people that are able to go and see it.


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