Born in China

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Born in China
Born in China poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLu Chuan
Screenplay byDavid Fowler
Brian Leith
Phil Chapman
Lu Chuan
Produced byRoy Conli
Brian Leith
Phil Chapman
Narrated byJohn Krasinski (American release)
Zhou Xun (Chinese release)
Claire Keim (French release)
Edited byMatthew Meech
Music byBarnaby Taylor
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Shanghai Media Group (China)[2]
Release dates
  • August 12, 2016 (2016-08-12) (China)
  • April 21, 2017 (2017-04-21) (United States)
  • August 23, 2017 (2017-08-23) (France)
Running time
76 minutes[2]
CountriesUnited States
Budget$5–10 million[3]
Box office$25.1 million[4]

Born in China (我们诞生在中国) is a 2016 nature documentary film directed by Lu Chuan. A co-production between Disneynature and Shanghai Media Group, the film was released in China on August 12, 2016,[5] in the United States on April 21, 2017, one day before Earth Day, and in France on August 23, 2017.[6] The film focuses on a snow leopard named Dawa and her cubs, a young golden snub-nosed monkey named Tao Tao, a female giant panda named Ya Ya along with her daughter Mei Mei, and a herd of chiru. The American release of the film is narrated by John Krasinski, the Chinese release is narrated by Zhou Xun, and the French release is narrated by Claire Keim.[2]


The film follows three families: the giant panda, the snow leopard, and the golden snub-nosed monkey.

Starting in Qinghai Plateau in western China, which is home to a mother snow leopard named Dawa, who has two cubs. Dawa struggles to keep her cubs safe from danger, like a rival snow leopard, who soon returns with three of his sons and attacks Dawa, but she cannot chase all off and allows them to stay. Winter approaches and Dawa tries hunting a sheep but is injured. A year goes by, and she dies from being charged at by a domestic yak while trying to hunt down its baby.

In another part of China lives a young monkey named TaoTao, who is jealous of his newborn baby sister, but to make matters worse, his parents start to neglect and reject him. TaoTao soon befriends a group of outcast monkeys called "The Lost Boys", led by Rooster, but after the leader gets into a fight with TaoTao's father, the young monkey himself abandons the Lost Boys and rejoins his family. At first, they won't let him in, but decide to bring him into their warm arms. When spring approaches, TaoTao spends more time by himself and less time around his family, but when a Goshawk is about to catch his sister, TaoTao comes to the rescue and is welcomed back into his father's arms.

Right next door to TaoTao lives YaYa the giant panda and her new daughter MeiMei. The baby becomes fascinated by the wonders of their home, but YaYa is overprotective for her, knowing that danger can be by at any moment. Time passes, and MeiMei grows into a healthy young Panda. She dreams of climbing a tree after noticing a red panda. MeiMei soon becomes a young adult, and successfully climbs a tall tree for the first time. Proud of her daughter, YaYa knows that is time to say goodbye, and departs into the forest.

The film ends with many animals of China having their own lives. Dawa's cubs remain in the mountains, playing with each other. A giant panda has another baby. TaoTao and his father take a walk in the river, and a chiru spends his days running and impressing a mate, growing every day.

The narrator also says that, in Chinese mythology, when life ends, a red-crowned crane carries that soul, to rejoin the cycle of birth and rebirth.


Box office[edit]

As of June 15, 2017, Born in China has grossed $13.8 million in the United States and Canada and $10.1 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $23.9 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Born in China opened alongside The Promise, Unforgettable, Free Fire, and Phoenix Forgotten, and was projected to gross around $5 million from 1,508 theaters in its opening weekend.[7] It ended up debuting at $4.7 million, finishing 6th at the box office.[8]

The film made US$2.3 million on its opening weekend at the Chinese box office.[5] It went on to gross a total of ¥68 million RMB ($9.9 million) in the country.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 83% based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 6.90/10. The site's consensus reads, "Disneynature Born In China delivers more of the breathtaking footage the series is known for — and more than enough cuddly anthropomorphic action to keep the kids entertained."[9] On Metacritic the film has a score of 57 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[11]


The film received a nomination for Best Documentary at the 2017 Golden Rooster Awards.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Productions – Brian leith Productions".
  2. ^ a b c d "我们诞生在中国(2016)". (in Chinese). Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Balboa Benzinga (December 6, 2017). "The Synergies DisneyNature, Disney Studios Could Enjoy With Nat Geo, 20th Century Fox Acquisitions". Yahoo!. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Born in China (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Brzeski, Patrick (August 14, 2016). "China Box Office: 'Line Walker' Leads Another Quiet Weekend". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  6. ^ Frater, Patrick (August 11, 2016). "Disney's 'Born in China' Heads for Release". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Box Office: 'Unforgettable' to Get Burned by 'Fate of the Furious'". Variety. April 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "'Fate Of The Furious' Drives Five Wide Releases Off The Road With $38.6M Second Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. April 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Born in China (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  10. ^ "Born in China reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Film review: Nominations for the Golden Rooster Awards[23]-". Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  13. ^ "China's Golden Rooster Awards 2017 To Be Presented on Sept. 16". Retrieved 2022-07-27.

External links[edit]