On April 22 — Earth Day — Disneynature's "African Cats" will premiere in theaters around the U.S. I got a sneak peek at this film last week, and I can tell you right now that even if you're not normally a fan of nature flicks, you are gonna love this film.

Here's the official trailer:

Want to know a secret? Even though I call myself a greenie, I don't actually watch a lot of the eco-documentaries that hit the screen. For starters, I don't go to the movies or watch TV often, so when I do, I want to be truly entertained and/or informed. Yes, I love nature, but I'd rather be out in it than watching it on a screen.  

But that's not to say that I don't appreciate nature movies, particularly those that entertain and/or inform. Disneynature's "African Cats" does both. And it does it so well that it had me and both of my daughters (ages 8 and 5) glued to our seats for the entire length of the film.

One quick warning for parents: There is some circle of life stuff (animals eating animals) in the movie. My girls are usually fine with this, although I neglected to warn my 5-year-old that one of the animals that lions love to eat happens to be her favorite animal, the zebra. She figured it out about 10 minutes into the film when lions take down her beloved creature. It was heartbreaking for her and gut-wrenching for me to watch, but she recovered quickly and soon forgave the mama lions. If your kids (or you) are squeamish or sensitive to this, "African Cats" may not be the best family film for you to watch this weekend.

As you can see from the trailer, "African Cats" delves into the worlds of two feline families struggling to survive in the African savannah — lions and cheetahs. I'm not usually a fan of anthropomorphizing animals, but I think the film does a good job of highlighting the differences between the mother cheetah that must raise her cubs on her own and the pride of mother lions that rely on each other for comfort, food and support in raising their cubs.  

Here's a clip of Sita, the mother cheetah, depicting the struggles she faces in raising her cubs alone:

Oh, and did I mention that "African Cats" is narrated by the Samuel L. Jackson, whose voice is the very definition of cool? His narration, along with the amazing wildlife footage, makes "African Cats" a must-see film for greenies — even those of us who aren't typically drawn to nature films.  

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