a majestic call

It was on opening night of TIFFkids -- an evening already lit with excitement -- that my two oldest kids and their cousin met a filmmaker for the first time. He stood in front of the big screen and spoke of his passion and dedication for the film we were waiting to see. 

I watched the kids as they listened with curious interest to his story of an endangered species. He wrapped up with a challenge. While living in the African rainforest, alongside the stars in his film, Mark learned to imitate the majestic call of the chimpanzee. He took a deep breath and filled the theatre with his sound.

Then he told us it means, "I am here. Where are you?"

And he asked the audience, filled with children, to call back.

The popcorn munching stopped as my little trio moved to the edge of their seats. I don't know which of them made the sound, if any, but I know this film had their full attention before it even began.


As we watched Oscar's story unfold on the screen, I could feel -- with with every giggle -- that my little moviegoers were relating to him. You see, all three of them happen to have a baby living in their home. Siblings with many of Oscar's mannerisms and tricks; that still need much of their mama's attention and care.

When we saw Oscar lose that bond, the giggling quieted and silent tears slid across their cheeks. Later, I heard soft sighs of relief as new bonds brightened Oscar's future once more. 

At the end of the film, I was met by three flushed faces.

"When can we see it again?"

"It was a sad movie with a lot of funny parts, too." 

"I love Oscar."

It was a story that started with a call to a generation poised to make a difference. It brought us to the African rainforest and left us with a new perspective.

And so, my kids have asked me to share Oscar's call with all of you. 

They want him to know they heard him. They want him to know they're here.


In celebration of the release of “Chimpanzee” Disneynature has joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada for a “See CHIMPANZEE, Save Chimpanzees” program.  For every moviegoer who sees the film during opening week, a donation will be made to JGI Canada to help protect chimpanzees and their habitats, now and into the future. 


{Thank you Bunch Family for a magical and unforgettable night}


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works through Elan.Works and is a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines and at TEDxRegina and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.