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Running Wild (DVD Review)

11 Jan, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 1/18/11
Screen Media
$14.98 DVD
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Brooke Shields, Martin Sheen, David Keith.

Experienced wildlife conservationist John Varty has an important mission at hand in Running Wild: Raise then release into the wild two leopard cubs whose mother was killed by lions. Unbeknownst to filmmaker Christine Shaye (Brooke Shields), who films his mission, she is about to unlock a captivating story that must be told.

Met with resistance from Dan Walker (Martin Sheen), her boss at the production company, Christine convinces him to greenlight the project. However, poachers, dwindling habitats, forces of nature and conniving co-workers each play their role in making the documentary a challenging one to create.

The 1992 film takes the viewer on a visual safari through the African landscape. Zebras, wildebeests and antelope prance across the Kenyan plains, serving as a refreshing reminder that life beyond buildings and highways does exist.

Seeing the young leopards — nicknamed Little Boy and Little Girl — in all of their cute, cuddly, mischievous glory is a treat in and of itself for the animal-loving crowd. Varty, who plays himself, effortlessly interacts with the cubs as if they were his own children. These pleasant images, of course, are more inviting than the gruesome scenes of animals killing each other. But that’s life in the animal world — you either prey or are preyed upon.

Interwoven in the saga of the leopards is the realization that we — the human race — must do our part in conserving Mother Earth, so that the millions of species living alongside us can thrive.

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