I participated in the Lion King and Born in China In-Home Walt Disney World Press Event.
Thanks to Disney for hosting us. Our opinions are our own.
DisneyNature’s Born in China gives viewers a unique look at three animal families- golden monkey, snow leopard and the giant panda. I saw the film earlier this year. All three animals are fascinating! I was especially moved by the panda footage. DisneyNature sent my family a copy of Born on Blu-ray and now I can watch the pandas at home whenever I want to. I love pandas. Not only are they adorable but these mama bears are terrific moms!
My love for pandas started when the Smithsonian Zoo’s Giant Panda Mei Xiang gave birth to twin pandas. Sadly one of the clubs passed away early on but I faithfully tuned into the zoo’s panda cam to watch Mei Xiang’s relationship with her cub Bei Bei blossom. I was so obsessed that I even made it a point to visit the D.C. zoo this summer to visit Bei Bei in person. If you or your children love animals, Born in China is a wonderful title to own. The cinematography is stunning but what I immediately looked for were the bonus features. The Blu-ray has four behind-the-scenes segments including “Panda Suits & Bamboo Shoots”.
“Panda Suits & Bamboo Shoots” features the panda team in 2014 when they set out to find a wild panda family to follow and document for a year. We learn early on that this is an extremely difficult task. There are only 1,848 pandas left in the wild plus they live in a tricky terrain. The team traveled 10,000 feet up a steep, slippery slope through a dense, thick jungle of bamboo to find pandas. Once they found a spot to set-up they waited… and waited. They waited a month before they found what they were looking for.
Roy Conli, Born in China’s producer was at the panda site in China. We met with him at a Born in China event in Florida to talk about the film and the Blu-ray release. The bonus feature shows the crew dressed in a peculiar outfit! They were in Panda suits! Roy talked about the panda suit, “I did have a panda suit, yes. The guys that were on the set, would don suits and put panda scent on them which I won’t tell you what panda scent is.” Why the panda suits? In order to get close to the cubs they disguised themselves as Pandas. Panda cubs should never feel that people are safe to be around and the panda suit protected the animals in their natural habitat. Looks like it worked!
Roy then shared some of his observations from filming, “Pandas are naturally cute and are incredibly solitary beings and it’s only when the mother has a cub, for two years they have a relationship. And then, then they go away and they’re alone again. He also shared a funny observation with my group, “As they grow, they’re so incredibly uncoordinated [LAUGHS] because when they’re very young, they have to be very well protected by their mom, but then as they get into the adolescence they’re not really hunted by any other animal. So, it’s a good thing because they’re clumsy as all get out [LAUGHS]. But they’re great. There’s something in the film that I love and it’s the yin and yang of their life. They are these incredibly wild, but tender creatures and so watching them react is pretty impressive.”
Read our one-on-one interview with Roy Conli.
Born in China is a stunning nature documentary that the whole family can enjoy together. It is available on Blu-ray, DVD + Digital