In Borneo, Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas has spent her life rescuing baby orangutans while across the world in Kenya, Dr. Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick has done the same with her life while rescuing orphaned elephants.
As man’s desire to tear down nature to make room for himself continues, thousands of animals are orphaned in the process. Decades ago, Galdikas and Sheldrick saw the need for someone to step in and save these orphans that would die without any help.
Through Born to be Wild, audiences are transported in brilliant 3D to the front lines of the effort to save lives of animals that may perish at the hands of man’s ever-expanding desires. Born to be Wild is showing in IMAX theaters nationwide and it is a not-to-be-missed film. Audiences of all ages will cherish the experience and, frankly, leave the theater motivated to do something! It is impossible to witness the magic of Born to be Wild without being moved, angry and hopeful of how two women stood up for creatures no one else was listening to.
We learn that baby elephants need almost constant milk and caring. Sheldrick has amassed a team of caretakers who literally live with the baby elephants and serve as surrogate parents. Touching scenes in the film abound and one thing is for sure: Prepare for a few tears, both of joy and sadness as the tough journey to saving is a rough, but rewarding one.
Meanwhile, in Borneo, Galdikas heads out from her jungle sanctuary and rescues numerous orphaned orangutans who, like the elephants in Kenya, cannot survive without constant care. Many of these animals don’t go into the wild by themselves until they turn seven or eight, so to see the selfless care given by Galdikas and her team is heart wrenchingly astounding.
Then, there’s the sonic succulence of Morgan Freeman’s narration. The Oscar winner is at his best putting the story and stunning visuals into perspective. Freeman told us he only does narration work for films he believes can make a difference in the world. Born to be Wild is an important film because for every Dr. Galdikas and Dr. Sheldrick, there needs to be hundreds more. There are countless creatures orphaned by man’s expansion into the natural world. As he did in March of the Penguins, Freeman lets the subjects of the documentary tell the story. As any great actor does, Freeman steps aside and simply frames the extraordinary story with annotations that are poignant in subject and in delivery.
The film’s title is perfect as the mission of these two women is to return the orphans to their natural habitat. There are some success stories and there are some heartbreaking failures. But, that is life. And that is why Born to be Wild, even in its too short 40-plus minutes (we want more!), is an astounding piece of filmmaking.
Born to be Wild review
Out of five stars…