Animals Are Beautiful People

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Animals Are Beautiful People
Animals are Beautiful People.jpg
DVD release cover
Directed by Jamie Uys
Produced by Boet Troskie Jamie Uys
Written by Jamie Uys Bob Gillies
Music by Theodore Roberts Jamie Uys
Cinematography Jamie Uys
Edited by Jamie Uys
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date
November 1974
Running time
92 min.
Country South Africa
Language English

Animals Are Beautiful People (also called 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.

General description[edit]

This South African film tells about life in these areas in a humorous way. It was directed and written by Jamie Uys, who is most famous for his later film The Gods Must Be Crazy.

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."

The second third of the film shows the rich life in the Okavango River and Okavango Delta (see Marula, below), and the last third of the film focuses on life in the Kalahari desert.


One scene depicts baboons, elephants, giraffes, warthogs and other animals eating rotten, fermented fruit of the Marula tree. The intoxicated animals then stagger around to 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.[1]

Classical music[edit]

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
  • Franz Liszt's "Les préludes, symphonic poem No.3", near the end of the film, during the cloud formation scene

Featured species[edit]

This incomplete list does include almost all mentioned species.



External links[edit]