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See "African Cats" and Help Save the Savanna

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011 6:58 PM

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The nature documentary African Cats from Walt Disney Studios' Disneynature group is opening in theaters nationwide tomorrow, April 22, 2011 (which is also Earth Day), and moviegoers can help save the African savanna featured in the movie. Disneynature's "See 'African Cats' save the Savanna" initiative pledges a contribution to saving land in Kenya's Amboseli Wildlife Corridor for each ticket sold.

"We are very impressed with the passion people are showing for 'African Cats'—advance ticket sales for this film have surpassed both 'Earth' and 'Oceans' at this stage of the game, which shows how excited moviegoers are for both the movie and the 'Save the Savanna' initiative," said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. "The Amboseli Corridor is an essential passage utilized by so many animals in the African savanna. The advance ticket sales so far will allow Disneynature with African Wildlife Foundation’s assistance to conserve more than 9,500 acres of this passage—which equates to 19 Disney’s Animal Kingdoms, or nearly two-thirds the size of Manhattan—and we still have two weeks till opening day."

According to the press release issued by the company, a portion of the proceeds from the movie's opening week (April 22-28) will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help the animals of the African savanna, including cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, and more.

I looked for more details about the program to see just how much was being donated, and their web site says that $0.20 per ticket will be donated, with a minimum of $100,000 pledged to this program. They don't mention a maximum amount, so it would be cool to see the movie exceed the minimum 500,000 tickets and have even more money go towards wildlife preservation in that very important area of the world.

"AFRICAN CATS" Sita and cubs on termite mound Ph: Keith Scholey ©2010 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

View the Photo Gallery page for more photos!

An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, African Cats captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Oscar®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons.

The movie opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow, and you can find out where by going to the Showtimes page. Many theaters are offering tickets online, so you buy your tickets and print them now so you can avoid the box office lines at the theater!

For more information about the movie, head over to the Movie Information page which contains links to a Photo Gallery, Trailers & Videos, the official web site, and more. The trailers feature some amazing photography and there seems to be a storyline centering around mothers taking care of their young, which should help to engage viewers beyond the impressive visuals.

Disneynature was founded in 2008, and the first movie released was Earth, which opened on Earth Day 2009. Their "Buy a Ticket, Plant a Tree" program held in conjunction with that release led to the planting of three million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Oceans debuted in theaters on Earth Day last year, and went on to become the third highest grossing feature-length nature movie in history. The "See 'Oceans,' Save Oceans" initiative resulted in 40,000 acres being established as a marine protected area in The Bahamas, which included some coral reefs.

Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Press Release

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