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Jan07

10 Must-See (African) Animal Movies

WRITTEN BY // Claudia Hauter CATEGORIES // Inverdoorn-blog

Wild Movies

10 Must-See (African) Animal Movies

We love movies! Who doesn’t, right? So in the spirit of cinema and wildlife, we decided to pick ten movies featuring African animals and tried to see if we could spot which ones live at Inverdoorn as well.

 

1. Khumba

This movie was a definite for our list, because it was made by a South African animation company based in Cape Town, called Triggerfish, and is set in the Karoo. As you can imagine we recognised practically everything, from the animals and plants to the vast mountain ranges and starry skies.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: zebra, wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, ostrich

2. The Lion King

With grand storytelling, splendid detail and an excellent soundtrack to boot, this is a must-see on any list of animal movies. It features an array of memorable characters and an opening scene which will raise goosebumps to this very day. The movie created a range of iconic images and phrases, many of which have been spoofed endlessly since the move was released, two decades ago.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: lion, zebra, giraffe, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, gemsbok

3. Gorillas in the Mist

Make sure you haven’t used all your tissues wiping away the tears in The Lion King, because you’ll need them for this movie too. Set in the Congo and Rwanda, it is far away from South Africa; but because conservation is at the heart of what we do at Inverdoorn, we had to include this film, which is based on the life of naturalist Dian Fossey and her battle to save the mountain gorilla.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: none

4. The Ghost and the Darkness

This movie is about two man-eating lions. It is based on a true story, but it is extremely unusual, for lions (and animals in general) to attack humans for no reason. Admittedly, the movie demonises wildlife and depicts Africa as some kind of primitive wilderness à la Heart of Darkness; but, we must also admit a guilty pleasure in the over-the-top melodrama of the story and the action.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: lion

5. Carry On Up the Jungle

An even worse depiction of Africa comes in the form of Carry On Up the Jungle. It treats Africa like one massive country overrun with every manner of animals and wild savages. But, in the spirit of the Carry On movies, the sheer awfulness is what makes it half the fun as you roll your eyes and laugh along at the cheap production, the crude effects and, as always, the naughty jokes.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: elephant, giraffe, lion

6. Life of Pi

The scene-stealer in this movie is, without a doubt, the Bengal tiger, and although tigers are not found in Africa, this movie’s epic story and incredible visuals meant we could not resist including it to our list. Besides, it does feature a zebra and a hyena, which you find in Africa. The orang-utan in the story, like the tiger, comes from Asia.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: zebra

7. Madagascar

This animated movie features a host of African animals, but completely supplanted from their natural environment. They all live in a zoo in New York City and land up in Madagascar which is home to none of the main characters – a lion, hippo, zebra and giraffe. It is a fun and frivolous movie with a host of excellent supporting characters including a ring-tailed lemur, some penguins from Antarctica and an adorable Mouse lemur. Lemurs are only found in Madagascar. In the movie’s sequel, the main characters get a chance to go to Africa.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: lion, hippo, zebra, giraffe

8. The Chronicles of Narnia

The Narnia movies are based on the incredible fantasy series by C.S. Lewis and imbued with an impassioned spiritual outlook. The stories have nothing to do with Africa specifically, but the beautiful stories, the abundance of animal characters and the integral figure of Aslan the lion – particularly in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – secured its spot on our list.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: lion

9. Tarzan

Edgar Rice Burroughs created a legend when he wrote the character of Tarzan. It all started with the book Tarzan and the Apes, which followed the life of a young boy raised by apes in Africa. The book’s publication in 1914 spawned over twenty sequels, and since that time a vast multitude of adaptations followed in the form of books, movies, radio plays, TV shows and much more. The stories and their various adaptations come with a host of contentious issues, but the entertainment value cannot be denied.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: lion, hippo, elephant

10. Dumbo

Disney has long been renowned for animated classics which feature animals as the main characters, so it is no surprise to find them on our list twice. Dumbo is a gorgeous movie, which will touch a chord of nostalgia for anyone who grew up with Disney’s traditionally animated features. This movie is included in honour of our elephants Bully and Nduna who, like Dumbo, were taken from their family at a young age.

Animals you will recognise from Inverdoorn: elephant

 

Movies are a fantastic story-telling tool and using animals as characters creates an exciting opportunity to learn more about the amazing creatures that roam across this continent, and our world. It also provides a new way of looking at our own lives, and our place in the world.

 

What is your favourite animal movie?

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Inverdoorn Game Reserve

 

PO BOX 304 SEA POINT 8060
CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA

Tel:  +27 (0)214 344 639
Fax: +27 (0)214 331 157

Mail: info@inverdoorn.com

Meet The Team

  • Meet the Team: Christo Viljoen

    Meet the Team: Christo Viljoen

    The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: Annami Grabe

    Meeting the Volunteers: Annami Grabe

    Something I loved about meeting the volunteers and talking to them was the way they carefully contemplated each question I put forward to them – and none more so than Annami, a local...

  • Meet the Team: Wilna Paxton

    Meet the Team: Wilna Paxton

    The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: Marion Sabatié

    Meeting the Volunteers: Marion Sabatié

    With her boundless energy and a permanent twinkle in her eye, Marion Sabatié reminds me of a mischievous pixie. I was with her when she first arrived at Inverdoorn and her nervous,...

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Inverdoorn Game Reserve

PO BOX 304 SEA POINT 8060
CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA

Tel:  +27 (0)214 344 639
Fax: +27 (0)214 331 157

Mail: info@inverdoorn.com

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