Animals Are Beautiful People
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|Animals Are Beautiful People|
DVD release cover
|Directed by||Jamie Uys|
|Produced by||Jamie Uys|
|Written by||Jamie Uys|
|Distributed by||Warner Brothers|
|Release date(s)||November 1974|
|Running time||92 min.|
Animals Are Beautiful People (aka Beautiful People) is a 1974 nature documentary about the wildlife in Southern Africa. It was filmed in the Namib Desert, the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango River and Okavango Delta. It was produced for cinema and has a length of slightly more than 90 minutes.
The film begins in the Namib desert, with the narrator saying: "You'd think nobody could make a living here." But the film proves the opposite and shows the lives of the animals that live there. The narrator concludes: "But to the Oryx and the little creatures of the Namib, this waterless, hostile desert is paradise."
One scene depicts baboons, elephants, giraffes, warthogs and other animals eating rotten, fermented fruit of the Marula tree. The intoxicated animals then stagger around for comic effect. In the morning, we see one baboon wake up, disheveled, next to a warthog, and quietly exit the burrow, as not to wake her. Some experts have claimed that some scenes were likely staged; elephants would be too large, for example, and drink too much water (diluting the alcohol) to get intoxicated.
The film uses classical music and especially well-known pieces to support a scene. A few examples:
- "Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5" with acrobatic baboons
- Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers", showing the miracle of the blooming desert
- Weber's "Invitation to the Dance" orchestrated by Berlioz, featuring the animals' celebration of Paradise's return
- Smetana's "Die Moldau", throughout the movie, especially during the river scenes
This incomplete list does include almost all mentioned species.
- Parts of this film were featured in the 1983 film Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (and were subsequently mocked when that film appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000).
- Morris, Steve; David Humphreys; Dan Reynolds (2006). "Myth, marula, and elephant: an assessment of voluntary ethanol intoxication of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) following feeding on the fruit of the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea)". Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79 (2): 363–9. doi:10.1086/499983. PMID 16555195. Retrieved 2012-07-30.