Disney preps creature features

Studio moves forward with documentaries

Disneynature is moving forward with a couple of creature features as a follow-up to “Earth.”

The nature docu arm of the Mouse House is in production on “Chimpanzee” and “African Cats: Kingdom of Courage,” with “Earth” directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield both taking co-helming duties.

“African Cats” will roll out worldwide in 2011 and move into the following year. It revolves around two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.

Keith Scholey, former head of the BBC’s natural history unit and controller of the BBC’s Factual unit, is directing the pic with Fothergill.

“Chimpanzee” will bow from 2012 through 2013. Fothergill and Linfield will write and direct the film about a family of chimps living in the Ivory Coast and Ugandan rain forests.

Alix Tidmarsh and Fothergill are producing with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute.

Disneynature’s next release is “Oceans,” from co-directors Jacques Perrin (“Winged Migration”) and Jacques Cluzaud. Pic will roll into theaters on Earth Day 2010.

“Earth” has earned $29 million in the U.S. and $85 million overseas since its release April 22.

As part of the launch, Disney and the Nature Conservancy planted 2.7 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The number of trees was based on the film’s opening-week grosses.

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