"Born to be Wild" promises to take audiences on a remarkable journey

An infant orangutan chews on a branch while relaxing in a hammock during the filming of,"Born To Be Wild 3-D."
AP Photo/Warner Bros.
An infant orangutan chews on a branch while relaxing in a hammock during the filming of "Born To Be Wild 3-D."
AP/Warner Bros.

(CBS) Presented in stunning IMAX 3-D imagery, "Born to be Wild" is a visually arresting adventure documentary that takes viewers on a journey of a lifetime - no passport required.

Directed by David Lickey ("Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees") "Born to be Wild" is immediately captivating, transporting moviegoers into the lush, tropical rainforests of Indonesian Borneo and across the vast Kenyan Savannah to highlight the work of two extraordinary women - world renowned primatologist Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and elephant authority Dr. Dame Daphne M. Sheldrik - whose collective body of work spans almost a century.

Video: "Born to the Wild" orangutans

Narrated by Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby"), this heartwarming film documents the unrelenting efforts of these two women, both who have dedicated the greater part of their lives to the protection and conservation of orphaned orangutans and elephants in the wild.

Dr. Galdikas has spent over 40 years raising and rehabilitating orangutans, whose mothers have been taken by poachers or killed thanks to developers creating palm oil plantations in their natural habitats. In a recent interview with CBSNews.com, she talked about the effects, saying, "orangutans are on the verge of extinction - they've become like refugees in their own environment."

The film painstakingly captures the dedication of Galdikas, Sheldrick and their respective teams towards protecting, raising and nurturing orphaned orangutans and elephants, preparing them for re-entry into the wild in their respective natural habitats.

Poignant moments of both of these veteran conservationists are intimately captured on screen, in this 40-minute-long documentary from Warner Bros. Much more encapsulating and visceral than recent epic chronicles devoted to our earth, oceans and wildlife, the result is a very personal experience for viewers, allowing them to fully appreciate both visually and emotionally, the environment they are immersed in.

Well paced, "Born to be Wild" deftly alternates between the two women and the animals they are focused on, yet allows the audience to linger long enough to capture impromptu, fun-filled moments. Elephants playing soccer and an orangutan sharing a bowl of spaghetti provide heart to the film.

Lickey and cinematographer David Douglas do a stellar job of defining both the vastness of the rich landscape, as well as honing in to provide a close-up glimpse at the complete cycle of rehabilitation each of the conservationists and their proteges must go through. The emotional ups and downs and all the joy, laughter and pain of raising a baby before having to let them go are given the importance they deserve, without pandering and serve to underscore the many similarities between the animals and the humans that care for them.

With a family-friendly G-rating, this intricate, immersive film promises a rich and rewarding experience with lots of "ooh and aah" moments everyone will enjoy. My only complaint after seeing it - why couldn't it have been longer and made into a feature length film?