FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Disneynature and the Jane Goodall Institute Announce Conservation Program Impact

Author: 
JGI-USA

See CHIMPANZEE, Saving Chimpanzees

Program Will Protect 129,236 Acres of Habitat, Educate 60,000 Schoolchildren about Chimpanzee Conservation, and Care for Orphaned Chimpanzees

 
BURBANK, Calif. (May 11, 2012) – Disneynature and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) today announced the impact of the latest Disneynature conservation program “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees.”  For every moviegoer who saw Oscar the chimpanzee on the big screen during the film’s record-setting run, (April 20-May 3, 2012), Disneynature made a donation to JGI through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, which will profoundly impact JGI’s efforts to conserve chimpanzee habitat, grow educational programs for schools, and provide care for orphaned chimpanzees.
 
The conservation program will help to protect 129,236 acres (202 square miles) of wild chimpanzee habitat through infrastructure investments in the expanded Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in the Republic of Congo (Congo). Additionally, the program will enable JGI to exponentially grow its education program on the importance of protecting chimpanzees, reaching an estimated 60,000 children in 100 schools in Congo. The education initiative will extend to the students’ parents and neighbors, ultimately reaching nearly half of the country’s population. The program will also provide food and medicine for nearly all of the orphaned chimpanzees at JGI’s Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary for at least the next year.
 
"A huge ‘thank you’ to Disneynature and the millions of people who saw ‘Chimpanzee’ in its first two weeks,” said Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.  “The conservation program ‘See “Chimpanzee,” Save Chimpanzees’ substantially raised public awareness about the threats facing chimpanzees and their habitat, and everyone who saw the film helped the Jane Goodall Institute continue its efforts to protect these amazing beings and their forest home now and in the future." 
 
“Disney is proud to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to help advance its work to protect chimpanzees and their habitat for generations to come,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. “The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding commitment to conservation and a renewed focus to connect kids with nature. Through Disneynature, we are devoted to making films that move, educate and inspire audiences.”
 
In addition to marking the first-ever extension to a Disneynature ticket-sales initiative, the “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees” program was supported across The Walt Disney Company. Disney Interactive Media Group's Animal Kingdom Explorer game, Disney Store, Disney Cruise Line and Disney’s internal Earth Day engagement efforts all contributed to the program, increasing the overall impact on chimpanzee conservation. Additionally, proceeds from external collaborations, including Alex Woo’s exclusive chimpanzee pendants and reservations made at Starwood Hotels & Resorts through the month of May, continue to broaden the impact.
 
In celebration of the new Friends for Change anthem and the “Chimpanzee” end-credit song, “Rise,” written and performed by McClain Sisters, Disney Music Group also made a contribution to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund “rapid response” program which supports emergency aid to animals during disasters. 
 
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimpanzees, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimpanzees, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever. Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“African Cats” and “Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“Earth”), and narrated by Tim Allen (Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” ABC’s “Last Man Standing”), Rated G by the MPAA, “Chimpanzee” is in theaters now. For more information about “Chimpanzee,” visit Disney.com/Chimpanzee, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Disneynature or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Disneynature.
 
ABOUT DISNEYNATURE
Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire, and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first three Disneynature films, “Earth,” “Oceans” and “African Cats” are three of the top four highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Earth” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Conservation has been a key pillar of the label, and Disneynature films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening week attendance for all three films, Disneynature has planted 3 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas and protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya.  For more information about Disneynature, check out www.disney.com/chimpanzee, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Disneynature, and follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Disneynature.
 
ABOUT THE JANE GOODALL INSTITUTE
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior started more than 50 years ago—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian program for youth of all ages, which has groups in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.
 
ABOUT THE DISNEY WORLDWIDE CONSERVATION FUND (DWCF)
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to inspire people and partnerships to protect the world’s wildlife and to connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. To date, DWCF has granted more than $18 million to support conservation programs in 112 countries, including funding to support community conservation programs to protect lions, cheetahs and chimpanzees. More information about DWCF’s efforts for wildlife, wild places and the people so closely linked to their survival can be found at disney.com/conservation. The DWCF also maintains the Rapid Response Fund, which has provided emergency funding to more than 160 relief efforts. 
 
PRESS CONTACTS
Walt Disney Studios Global Publicity
Michelle Rasic: michelle.rasic@disney.com
Derek Del Rossi: derek.del.rossi@disney.com
 
the Jane Goodall Institute
Claire Gwatkin Jones: clairejones@janegoodall.org
 
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