I was gobsmacked at how the Coen brothers were able to get an amazing performance from a cat earlier this year with Inside Llewyn Davis. Well, apparently that was nothing, because Amazonia 3Damplifies that awe tenfold by directing an entire rainforest. Working years on the project with biologists and animal experts, director Thierry Ragobert pulls off a very impressive filmmaking feat – one that casts wildlife in their natural environment to tell a family-friendly tale of survival.
The story is very basic: a domesticated monkey crash lands in the Amazon and must learn to adapt in the wild. He’s an adorable little critter, able to perform basic fears and surprises while being placed in some surprisingly nerve-wracking scenarios. A scene where he attempts to climb a spiky tree had me clutching my feeble heart in suspense.
Being a dramatised documentary of sorts, Amazonia 3D uses its simple narrative as a means of capturing the environment and the wildlife beautifully onscreen with a great understanding of 3D. However, these observations make up over 50% of the film, causing tedium to linger when the film jumps out of the plot to enter doco-mode. Even at a breezy 80 minutes, it constantly feels like a movie that would have been suited to half that running time akin to Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. But as a feature, the mixture of light storytelling and screensaver-esque documentation does stretch itself a bit too thin.
‘Amazonia 3D’ Movie Times