MOVIEGOERS OF DISNEYNATURE’S TRUE LIFE ADVENTURE “AFRICAN CATS” HELP SAVE THE SAVANNA
Disneynature Collaborates with the African Wildlife Foundation to Help Protect 50,000 Acres in Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor
BURBANK, Calif. (May 2, 2011) – Disneynature announced today that its “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” campaign will help protect more than 50,000 acres of land in Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor on behalf of the moviegoers who came out to see Disneynature’s motion picture “African Cats” during its opening week (April 22-28, 2011). A portion of the proceeds from the opening-week ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna.
The area to be protected equates to 100 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Parks or more than twice the size of Manhattan. The AWF will be working to establish the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife.
“We’re so proud that audiences nationwide have embraced the film and the ‘See “African Cats,” Save the Savanna’ initiative,” said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. “The conservation efforts Disneynature has supported so far span the globe—from planting trees in Brazil, to preserving coral reef in The Bahamas and now protecting this essential passage in Kenya—they’ve become an extraordinary part of our films and audiences have played a key role in helping our planet.”
“The ‘See “African Cats,” Save the Savanna’ program transformed the moviegoing experience into tangible on-the-ground conservation action,” said Dr. Patrick Bergin, CEO, African Wildlife Foundation. “The commitment of Disneynature combined with the passion of moviegoers will raise critical funds to conserve the land that the magnificent species featured in “African Cats” call home. Through this amazing collaboration, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary together with Disneynature and all the people who are helping establish the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor.”
While the opening-week ticket sales will help protect more than 50,000 acres of the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, the conservation efforts tied to “African Cats” do not end there. Additional collaborations are committed to adding at least another 15,000 acres to the program–from the sale of artwork and jewelry inspired by the film, to the sale of Jordin Sparks’ “The World I Knew” single, to the Cast Member Earth Month pledges across the Walt Disney Company, plus more. These programs, many of them ongoing, support the “Save the Savanna” initiative, which will have a positive long term and sustainable impact on the animals and people of Africa.
“See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” continues Disneynature’s conservation efforts, which began with its first release, “Earth” (2009), for which three million trees were planted in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The program in support of “Oceans” (2010) helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected areas in The Bahamas, which contain miles of vital coral reef.
“African Cats” is in theaters now.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
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. Disneynature brings “The Lion King” to life on the big screen in this True Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill (“Earth”). An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, “African Cats” leapt into theatres on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. For more information about the movie and the “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” initiative, check out Disney.com/AfricanCats.
ABOUT AWF Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF’s programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa’s people. Since its inception AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted partnerships with the private sector for conservation tourism to benefit local African communities as a means to improve livelihoods, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa’s unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a non-profit organization currently operating in 14 countries across the continent. AWF is a registered 501(c)(3) in the United States. Visit www.awf.org.
Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years, was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife subjects and stories with theatrical audiences. “Earth” (opening Earth Day 2009) was the first film to premiere domestically under the new label, and garnered a record-breaking opening weekend for a nature documentary. Its “Buy a Ticket, Plant a Tree” initiative led to the planting of three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Hitting theaters on April 22, 2010, “Oceans” was the third highest grossing feature-length nature film in history. Its “See ‘Oceans,’ Save Oceans” initiative helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, preserving essential coral reefs. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1949 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. For more information about Disneynature, check out disneynature.com like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature, and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature.
ABOUT DISNEY WORLDWIDE CONSERVATION FUND
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has advanced Disney’s legacy of conservation to inspire people and partnerships to protect the world’s wildlife. To date, the DWCF has granted more than $14 million in 110 countries. DWCF is a Disney initiative to support conservation and animal welfare and is not a US 501(c)(3) public charity. More information about DWCF’s efforts for wildlife, wild places and the people linked to their survival, is available at www.disney.com/conservation.
Aljon Go is Chip & Company’s resident Jedi, musician and celebrity interviewer. He regularly visits the Disney Parks and writes about Star Wars, Marvel and Disney films. Follow him on Twitter @JediMouseketeer and his Disney/Star Wars site Jedi Mouseketeer! He’s been in commercial radio for over 16 years and is the station manager and air-talent for the award winning Sorcerer Radio Network and hosts the weekly nighttime vidcast WDW After Dark.