The sad tale of a pair of cougars that mate and have cubs and a mountain sheep herder who witnesses the events and befriends them, only to be one day disrupted by a hunter on an expedition to make a kill: a cougar.
Well shot and enjoyably written, this hidden gem from Disney shows the every day life and death struggles for a family of cougars on a direct path with death and changes in life. And when the death comes, you will know where a certain later Disney film death scene clearly got some of it's inspiration. And it's a heart breaker.
If, like me, you are thinking this is sounds like a clear attempt to make hunters out to be evil people that kill lovable animals, don't worry -- it's not that kind of message, though certainly the tones are faintly there. It's more like described above.
Almost like a documentary at times, this scenic eye candy (which would look wonderful in a quality remaster) is not entertaining just to look at, but is supplemented by a terrific orchestral by the late Buddy Baker, and there is a good deal of it to hear. The score shows us how to drive a scene, how to help it, that themes are okay and that experimentation in orchestra colors is not only interesting to hear, but it can heighten scenes. This would make a great DVD and an equally wonderful two or three CD set of score (if one day it should ever be released).
What will become of the final mate and her cubs? Sit down and enjoy this to find out.
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