African Cats

Synopsis: A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.
Director(s): Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill (co-director)
Production: Disneynature
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min

Every day in the heart of Africa,

amazing true stories happen

that no one ever sees.

Not so long ago on these plains,

two mothers battled forces

that sought to destroy them.

Only by showing extraordinary courage

would these mothers prevail.

A mighty river divides this land.

It marks the boundary

between two rival families of lions.

To the south lives the River Pride,

six lionesses and their cubs.

They're a close-knit family,

and rely on each other for comfort

and protection.

Layla is the oldest

and most experienced lioness.

She has just one cub,

six-month-old Mara.

Layla's age is starting to show.

A lifetime of hunting has taken its toll.

The cubs are fed and raised

by the lionesses,

but they are protected

by the pride's ruler,


His broken tooth is a war wound

from a recent battle,

and a mark of his bravery.

He is the father of all of the cubs

and their defender.

To Mara, he's the best dad ever.

Fang keeps Mara and her mother safe,

and guards their pride lands,

rich lands that every year

host a great migration

a million strong.

Fang lets all other lions know that

he alone rules the southern kingdom.

North of the river

lives a very different cat,

the fastest creature on land,

a cheetah.

Sita's life is different from a lion's

in every way,

because she lives alone.

Sita has a secret.

Not long ago, she gave birth

in this grassy den to five cubs.

They are still blind, helpless

and totally reliant on their mother.

Sita is a single mother,

and with no pride to help her,

she must leave her cubs all alone

when she hunts.

Cheetahs may be the fastest animals

on land,

but hunting still isn't easy.

The Thomson's gazelles she favors

are almost as fast and very agile.

Sita is built for speed,

but has no staying power.

To have any chance,

she must sneak as close as possible.

Under 30 seconds before exhaustion.

It's now or never.


Sita's cubs will not go hungry today.

The river is a great bringer of life

to this wilderness,

but it can also be a deadly foe.

The surging rapids can carry

even the strongest lion to his death.

This is where dragons dwell.

The River Pride feeds on a dead hippo

washed up on the river's bank.

Crocodiles don't fear

the rulers of the land,

with one exception.


Today, the pride's protector

has earned his keep.

A crocodile-infested river

does have one benefit.

It protects the pride from invasion

from the north.

The northern kingdom is ruled

by Fang's greatest enemy,


And Kali is not alone.

He has four sons in their prime.

Together, they form

the most powerful force in this land,

one set on conquest.

Kali already rules the lionesses

of the north,

but he is not content with that.

He and his sons are driven

to expand their realm to the south.

lf he overthrows Fang,

he will kill Mara

and have new cubs of his own.

Kali is little Mara's greatest danger.

For now, the river is high,

a barrier that Kali will not cross.

But eventually, its waters will fall.

For Sita's five cubs,

living in their snug little home

seems like paradise.

The cubs are now old enough

For their first trip.

The gazelle herds have moved on,

and the family needs to catch up.

Sita quickly discovers

that herding cats isn't easy.

For Sita, it's time to cross

the open plains to find them food.

For the cubs, it's a huge adventure.

What an amazing first adventure.

Massive herds

still cross Fang's southern kingdom,

so food is plentiful for the River Pride.

Layla may be old, but she is

the most experienced hunter.

She knows the best place

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Keith Scholey

Keith Scholey (born 24 June 1957 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a British producer of nature documentaries for television and cinema, and a former television executive. He co-directed African Cats and Bears with Alastair Fothergill for Disneynature. He is also the executive producer of the series 'North America' for the Discovery Channel. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "African Cats" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <>.

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