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Born in China

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United Kingdom, China, United States · 2016
Rated G · 1h 16m
Director Lu Chuan
Starring John Krasinski, Zhou Xun
Genre Documentary

An epic journey into the vast Chinese wilderness, this film captures intimate moments in the life of a mother panda and her small cub, a young golden monkey who feels displaced after the birth of her baby sister, and a mother snow leopard struggling to raise her two cubs in the frigid mountains.

Stream Born in China

What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Washington Post by

With Born in China, Disneynature continues its tradition of ascribing human traits and emotions to wild creatures in ways that flirt with artificiality. Yet the documentary does manage to elicit a viewer’s awe and touch the heart.


TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

Born in China” doesn’t flip the script in any significant way, but while the storytelling here has significant weaknesses, it’s hard to stay mad at any movie that offers so many close-ups of an insanely adorable baby panda.


The Hollywood Reporter by Justin Lowe

If all of the overemoting can be ignored, Born in China delivers gorgeous visuals in its close-up perspective on some of the world’s rarest wildlife species, as well as the imposing habitats they call home.


Chicago Tribune by Katie Walsh

The message stays firmly on spiritual questions about the circle of life, but doesn't educate or leave the audience with a call to action about how to personally act to protect these animals, and that feels like a missed opportunity.


The New York Times by Neil Genzlinger

The narrative, read by John Krasinski, is kid-friendly in a cloying sort of way, and unpleasant realities like China’s pollution are not mentioned. So as an introduction for children to exotic creatures in picturesque landscapes, the movie is harmless enough.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

To the extent that Born in China is, by its very existence, a minor act of cross-cultural diplomacy, its most progressive effect is to unveil the majestic diversity of Chinese landscapes.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

All in all, it’s an eye-opening offering from DisneyNature, even with the Chinese pandering, Chinese spin and image-burnishing we can sense was part of the package.


Slant Magazine by Sam C. Mac

The film is neatly organized around not only the changing of the seasons, but a Disney-branded "circle of life" ethos.


Screen International by Tim Grierson

Essentially a feature-length version of the cute animal videos that proliferate on social media, Born In China is a feast for the eyes while also being an irritant for the ears.


Boston Globe by Tom Russo

Monkeys end up supplying the movie’s real drama. While parentally overlooked mischief-maker Tao Tao gets up to the requisite, well, monkey business, he’s also witness to a stunning snatch-and-fly attack by an opportunistic goshawk. It might not be nature on demand, but it’s some scene.