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Stars walk Orlando
red carpet for
Disney channel stars, film directors and producers permeated the red carpet at Downtown Disney last week, all in honor of a baby chimpanzee named Oscar. On Friday, Oscar made his world premiere in the Disneynature film, "Chimpanzee" (opening April 20), which takes viewers on a journey through African forests and into the daily lives of humans' nearest ancestors – chimpanzees. Don Hahn (Lion King), "Chimpanzee" executive producer, said the film, which took four years to make, may be the most difficult one the producers ever created. "It is a dangerous environment, and you see a little bit of that," Hahn said. "In the end, we put in a four-minute clip of the actual filmmakers filming out in the wild, and it's hilarious because they're falling in the mud, battling bees. You see how difficult it is to film a story like that." Adding to the filmmakers' difficulty – casting. "Casting – you don't." Hahn laughed. "They're never in their trailers, and they wear no wardrobe. It's a completely naked cast. You just go out there hoping to catch those accidentals that happen in nature, and we were really lucky that we were able to capture a lot." "Chimpanzee" is more than a documentary on account of film narrator Tim Allen's dry humor and Disneynature's partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. Oscar and his family may not be on the Disney payroll, but that does not mean they are not reaping some of the benefits. Disneynature and Jane Goodall Institute created the "See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzee" program. For every moviegoer who sees "Chimpanzee" during the film's opening week (April 20-26), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Nature Conservation Fund. Unfortunately, there were no live chimpanzees strolling down Friday's red carpet, but Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, carried a stuffed one. Goodall, who has loved chimps since she was a young girl, said Walt would have loved this movie, which she believes will influence hundreds of people. "It's all about understanding that each and every one of us makes a difference every single day," Goodall said. "And we all have a choice as to what kind of difference we are going to make." Friday's premiere event was part of the weekendng Disney Kids and Nature Celebration, which included an award ceremony to honor organizations that connect kids and nature, and the Friends for Change Youth Summit. Disney Channel's Shake It Up stars, Bella Thorne (CeCe) and Zendaya (Rocky), saw the movie for the first time on Friday and said "Chimpanzee" definitely appeals to teens. "Friends for Change is really big right now," Thorne said. "It's all about helping the planet. You hear about it on the news everyday – about things that are happening – and there are things you can do to stop it. And I think that means a lot, even to teens, because everyone has a voice."
Two of the three McClain sisters, Sierra Aylina McClain (left) and Lauryn Alisa McClain (right), at Orlando red carpet premiere for Disney’s ‘Chimpanzee..’ Photo By Lauren Holliday, April 2012
Teenlink South Florida April 16, 2012 By Lauren Holliday, Teenlink Correspondent