First Hit: I was disappointed in the overall presentation, narration, and empty space. I look forward to seeing Disney nature films and this film was no exception. It started out OK, but started to fall off with the narration and then the story's lack of engagement. Somehow John Krasinski’s voice failed to get me absorbed into into movie; it seemed pressed or manufactured without true feeling or empathy.
I did expect more from Krasinski's narration because he himself has two daughters and this film is about parents raising children. 'Born In China' is about three mothers raising their new babies. The animal mothers were: Snow Leopard, Golden Monkey, and Panda.
I thought that following a Snow Leopard, Golden Monkeys and Pandas would have been enough. However, either, following the three families didn't provide enough content or they didn’t do enough to deeply engage us and show us their lives, because there was so much empty space in the film. The possibility also exists that they needed more families to follow, but I'm not sure that would have helped.
Of course, many of the shots were fantastic because Disney's photographers are amazing. This point is proved in the opening scene, with two mother Snow Leopards facing off in a territory dispute. This scene was intense, inspiring and engaging and set a high mark for the rest of the film. It is unfortunate that the film falls away after this.
This falling away resulted in scenes of humor and cuteness by following the Golden Monkeys and Pandas. The Snow Leopards path was far more intense and had the feeling of being on the edge.
Although I applaud the director to include the mother's death scene, I still wanted to know what happened to the mother’s two kittens. The Golden Monkey story had both laughter and drama. The Panda story was interesting to me especially because they are very sloth like and the babies are so very vulnerable when born.
I’m not sure using the Crane as a moral compass was a good thought. It might have been better to learn more about the cranes.
Didn’t like Krasinskie’s voice and inflections for the narration. David Fowler and Brian Leith wrote a somewhat weak script. Chuan Lu did a mediocre job of putting these stories together. Although the filming/cinematography was exquisite.
Overall: Disappointed by this film and made me question whether I’ll see the next in the series.