Born in China with Fun Facts From Producer Roy Conli

Born in China with Fun Facts From Producer Roy Conli

By Erin

Disneynature’s latest gem Born in China, features epic beauty, hidden majesty and endless wonder. It centers around the families of three native species; snow leopards, pandas, and golden snub-nosed monkeys. Already having great acclaim and box-office success in China, it is now open today for U.S. audiences to join in on all the wonder and amazement this film has to offer. We had the amazing opportunity to chat with the movie’s producer Roy Conli to learn how the production crew got the film’s majestic nature footage, and why this was such an important project to him. He shared many fun and interesting facts with us about the film. Take a look below to see some of my favorite things that I learned about Born in China & Roy Conli.

Producer Roy Conli attends the New York Premeire Of Disneynature’s “Born In China” at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on April 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images or Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 Roy Conli: joined Disney in 1993 and co-produced “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and went over to Paris to run the Paris studio in 1995, where he completed portions of “Hunchback.” He also worked on “Hercules” and “Tarzan” over there, and then came back in 1998 to work on “Treasure Planet,”“Tangled”, and then “Big Hero 6,” which came out in 2014 which was a lot of fun for him, as he won a big award.

“Born in China” is the seventh theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. Born in China is narrated by John Krasinski.

 Shane Moore, the cinematographer for the snow leopards, spent 253 hours shooting over four trips, over six seasons. He was living in a little, uninsulated shack next to a monastery in the Quinghai Plateau. He and his very small team would leave before dawn and get back after dark, and shoot straight for the length of their Visas.

 Since they were coming in on journalistic Visas, they would have to leave after three months. The first shot of the snow leopard was at 90 days into his first stay. He had to leave the day after he got his first shot. But it’s a testament to the perseverance and professionalism these guys have. They track these animals and get to understand their movement and start to understand the thought process, their habits and customs as well.

 Pandas are incredibly isolated and they don’t like a lot of companionships around them, and they’re also 800-pound animals. So a mother panda with her cub can be somewhat intimidating and dangerous. What the cinematographers and the crew did was wear panda suits and they would put panda scent on them. As you build a relationship with these animals, and those animals see that you are not a danger, then they start getting closer and closer.

Description: Cinematographer Justin Maguire filming golden snub-nosed monkeys.

 The monkeys were the easiest to film. They just wanted to play with the cameras.

 Roy Conli told us about the importance of letting nature take its course while filming and “The Pinocchio Factor”–Amazing and frightening experiences that show life as it is and how children can handle more than we give them credit for.

One Last thing Roy Conli wanted everyone to know was to make sure to see the film this first week, when it first comes out. “Disney does something, and they’ve done it on every Disneynature release that I can remember: a portion of the proceeds from that first week is going to the World Wildlife Fund, and specifically targeted toward panda and snow leopards, in terms of the protection of those populations. We always say that Disneynature is a title that is there to educate, that is there to inspire, and then that is there to entertain. And in this particular case, it’s also there to serve. The work that Disneynature has done over the last ten years has helped protect 130,000 acres of chimpanzee reserve, create 65,000 acres of plain land for cats in Kenya, 400,000 acres protected in the U.S. National Park system, a 40,000 acre marine reserve in the Bahamas, protection of endangered monkeys in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, three million trees planted in the Amazon, in Brazil. This work is really, really important and it’s one of the greatest things that Disneynature provides. The World Wildlife Fund, in this particular instance, is going to be the beneficiary of that. And it’s going to help protect those populations for generations.”

Help protect snow leopards and pandas with Disneynature’s Born in China!

China is home to many iconic species and the WWF works to protect them, including giant pandas and snow leopards like the ones we see in the film. Premiering today, Born in China brings them to the big screen—and for every ticket sold in participating markets through April 27, Disneynature will make a donation to support WWF’s work in China. How awesome is that?? Happy Earth Day! 🙂

Character: Red-Crowned Cranes

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Visit the official BORN IN CHINA website: http://nature.disney.com/born-in-china

BORN IN CHINA is rated G and is in theatres everywhere NOW!

Celebrate Earth Day with Born in China!

Celebrate Earth Day with Born in China!

By Erin

Disneynature movies are so magical. I learn so much about the animals on our planet by watching them as they take us to places we would otherwise never be able to get to on our own. Disneynature proudly presents, Born in China, opening in theaters everywhere this Friday, April 21st. A breathtakingly gorgeous film that will have you in complete awe; Born in China follows the heartfelt, hilarious, and all too real adventures of three animal families: a panda bear and her cub, a snow leopard and her two cubs and a golden monkey and his family.

Born in Nature is brilliantly narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born in China” takes audiences on an epic and exciting journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured.  Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports moviegoers to some of the world’s most extreme environments to witness wildly intimate moments in the lives of these animals, whose day-to-day endeavors are both captivating and comical. A proud panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A  curious 2-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey, who feels displaced by his new baby sister, joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely seen by human eyes—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on Earth. This is the perfect film to go out and see on Earth Day! Or any other day of the year really, if you are as much of an animal lover as I am.

Character: Dawa and her cub – Snow Leopard

 The first family we will meet here, is the snow leopard. China’s Qinghai Plateau, the highest mountain plateau on Earth, is home to the stunning and elusive snow leopard. Experts estimate that there as few as 4,000 snow leopards left in Central Asia’s high mountains. We watch the story of Dawa unfold, she is a mother snow leopard who has to fight to provide for her cubs and the environment where she lives in is harsh and unforgiving. At more than 15,000 feet above sea level, Dawa’s world is decidedly inhospitable making food scarce and surviving with two cubs is a difficult task. Having to protect her territory from other snow leopards, makes it even more of a challenge. Winter temps are bitterly cold, precipitation comes largely in the form of hailstorms and limited vegetation provides little relief from winds that can exceed 40 miles per hour. This mother snow leopard is truly a creature of majesty. And it’s instantly evident just how important this mother’s cubs are to her. Your heart will go out to this brave and courageous family as you watch the hardships they endure.

Character: Dawa’s cub – Snow Leopard

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival April 1st-23rd!

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

By Erin

It’s almost Boysenberry time! This unique berry is a cross between a loganberry, a red raspberry and a blackberry. Did you know Knott’s Berry Farm was at one time a berry farm established by Walter Knott and his family? Knott was the first to commercially cultivate the boysenberry in Southern California after transplanting the berry’s vines from the former Boysenberry farm. Mrs. Knott began making preserves, which made Knott’s Berry Farm famous. The popular purple little boysenberry put Knott’s Berry Farm on the road to being America’s first theme park. As the birthplace of the delectable boysenberry, Knott’s Berry Farm once again showcases the little berry that started it all with a spectacular 23-day food and beverage celebration. 

This year, the festival is over three weeks (April 1–April 23) featuring over 70 boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks and more. During these 23 days everyone can indulge in succulent eats and enjoy live entertainment, new shows, pie eating contests, meet the Easter Beagle and PEANUTS gang, make new friends at the new Old MacDonald petting zoo, mingle with the Ghost Town townsfolk, line dance, and join the nighttime dance party. Of course there is all the usual fun too because entrance to the Boysenberry festival is included with park admission. (Additional cost for tastings of food and drink).

There are so many boysenberry inspired food and drinks to choose from throughout Ghost Town that are both sweet and savory. Items include ribs, meatballs, chicken wings, BBQ dishes flavored with Knott’s very own Boysenberry BBQ Sauce, boysenberry cream soda, chocolate covered Boysenberry cheesecake, Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Latte, and the now super famous Fun Bun! The Fun Bun is a crowd favorite with its warm, sweet, gooey deliciousness. If you have not heard of the Fun Bun yet; it is a cinnamon roll, boysenberry and funnel cake rolled into one delicious bun of fun. New this year is the boysenberry pizza, boysenberry ravioli, and boysenberry fry bread! There is so much to enjoy, you will have to come back more than once to enjoy it all! 😉

Now, ready to get a sneak peek of all the Boysenberry goodness of some of my favorite picks? Here you go!

  • Fun Bun – Fried Cinnamon Roll with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Topping (also shown is the Fun Stick)

  • Fun Stick

  • Chocolate Covered Boysenberry Cheesecake on a stick

  • Boysenberry Nutella Crepes

  • Deep Fried Alligator & Fries with Boysenberry Aioli

  • Boysenberry Fry Bread

  • Boysenberry Pizza

  • Marinated Boysenberry Meatball on a Stick with Boysenberry BBQ Sauce

  • Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork  Sandwich in a Boysenberry Bun Combo

  • Boysenberry BBQ Wings

  • Boysenberry Corn Dog

Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card*

One of the best ways to experience the Boysenberry Festival is with a Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card. For only $25, the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats:

  1. Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza
  2. Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse
  3. Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel
  4. Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico
  5. Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory
  6. Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery

The Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card can be purchased online or at the following locations at the park: The California Store, Little Spurs, General Store, Ghost Town Candy, Gold Trails Hotel, Spurs Chophouse, Pemmican Pickle, Calico Saloon, Ghost Town Bakery, Sutter’s Grill, and Ghost Town Mix-it-up.

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