Now playing at IMAX Theaters is Born to Be Wild, an endearing new wildlife documentary film about the dedication of two committed women on two continents who have spent much of their adult lives attempting to rescue and return to the wild, two endangered species. In the lush rain forests of Borneo world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, adopts and releases into the wild, orphaned orangutans while in the rugged Kenyan savannah celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick does the same with elephants. Both of these remarkable women and their respective teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.
Played out on the amazing IMAX screens, is this film by David Lickley (Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees), and Narrated by Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman (March of the Penguins). Born to Be Wild is an inspiring true story of love, dedication, and the remarkable bond that exists between humans and animals. The film cuts back and forth between the work performed by Dr. Galdikas in Borneo with orangutans and Dame Daphne Sheldrick with elephants in Kenyan, as it weaves its heartwarming tale of human compassion and awareness of the world around us.
One of the interesting aspects that comes out of the film is that even though orangutans and elephants are so different from each other (orangutans tend to be solitary, thoughtful creatures who prefer their own company, while elephants tend to be highly emotional, family-oriented), together, they seem to emulate two sides of human nature. What viewers take away from the film is that both sets of animals are highly sophisticated, intellectual species, and even though they exist in separate parts of the world, there almost as much that links them as makes them different.
In the words of writer/producer Drew Feldman both sets of creatures are, “…orphans who parents have been killed and some remarkable angels have rescued them from the brink of death and are giving them a second chance at the lives they were born to lead. Interestingly, the orangutans live in Asia and the elephants are in Africa, but they happen to be situated pretty close to the equator — Nairobi slightly north and Borneo, just south — so even though they are in separate parts of the world, they are joined by this imaginary line.”
The orangutans, they are on the verge of extinction as the jungles that form their natural habitat are being clear-cut for logging and palm oil plantations and the species themselves are being poached. Meanwhile the elephants have been constantly targeted by poachers who are targeting the mother elephants for their ivory tusks, leaving behind the baby elephants (who won’t leave their dead mother’s sides), to die of starvation. Both Dr. Galdikas, adopts and Dame Sheldrick understand that it is impossible to save the animals themselves without also saving their physical environment, and both women have made doing both their life’s work.
As was the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins the film is narrated Morgan Freeman who’s dulcet and soothing tones have become the very voice of friendly and re-assuring to several movie audiences as over the years. Between the compelling subject matter, the magnificent presentation of the sharpness and clarity of the IMAX format, this is the kind of film that appeals across a broad spectrum of audiences, from the very young, to Seniors. A film that leaves its audience with proof that a single person can make a difference in the life of not only an entire species, but to the planet as well.
Not only is this an excellent family film, but it shows how a single person with a strong commitment to a particular cause can effect so great a change in the world around them.