Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts

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It’s no secret that I’m wild about Disneynature’s BORN IN CHINA!  I’ve had the opportunity on two occasions, during Disney-sponsored press trips, to watch the film and I’m still anxious to see it again in theaters April 21!  It’s truly a remarkable, adorable and spectacular film that you don’t want to miss seeing.

One of the reasons, I’m eager to make sure I see BORN IN CHINA on opening day is that my presence in the movie theater will help make a difference in the lives of some of the animal featured in the film.  Moviegoers who see Disneynature’s new true life adventure film “Born in China” during its opening week (April 21-27, 2017) will benefit the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Based on opening-week attendance, Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the WWF to help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China.  How cool is that?!

Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts

I could give you the top 10 reasons you should go see BORN IN CHINA, but I think my list would read something like: Giant Pandas, Giant Pandas, Baby Giant Panda, Mama Giant Pandas, Giant Pandas… and other assorted ridiculously-cute-and-interesting animals. Truly, that should be enough because watching these amazing creatures in their natural habitats is a wonderful treat!

Without ruining any plot points, I will share that the film is so much more-than-cuteness on a screen.  It’s full of insightful animal encounters, vivid scenery, complex family dynamics, breath-taking moments and heartwarming encounters that all lead to a deeper understanding of life and the wonders around us.  Everything you would expect from a Disneynature film and so much more.

To enhance your movie-going experience, we presented a BORN IN CHINA Activity Packet and a BORN IN CHINA Paper Plate Craft earlier this month.  To take things a step further, I dug up some interesting facts about the main characters (animals) in the film to share.  I gathered these fun facts to use for discussion prior to and after viewing Disneynature BORN IN CHINA by consulting National Geographic Kids, the World Wildlife Fund, China Travel, and The Nature Conservancy resources.  Hope they help enhance your movie viewing!

Fun Facts about Giant Pandas

Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: YaYa – Pandas

Did you know:

  • Pandas have only been in the United States since 1936. One lived in a zoo in Chicago, but it was fifty years before this country saw another one.
  • A newborn panda Cub is about the size of a stick of butter. They’re also born hairless and with their eyes closed.
  • Pandas reach up to about 330 pounds as adults.
  • The average lifespan of a panda is 14 to 20 years.
Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: YaYa and MeiMei – Pandas
  • A 2014 survey only 1864 pandas in the wild. The good news is that that is a 17% increase over the last 10 years, so the preservation efforts of pandas are working!
  • Pandas eat almost entirely bamboo. They need to eat approximately 30 pounds of it to feel full, and will eat up to approximately 84 lbs. of bamboo daily.
  • Pandas are very shy and stay away from people.
  • A panda is shorter than a school bus, slower than a car, and weighs less than a piano.

Fun Facts about Snow Leopards

Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: Dawa – Snow Leopard

Did you know:

  • Snow leopards are called “ghosts of the mountains” because it’s very rare to see one. It’s so rare that to see more than one that there isn’t even an official term for a group of snow leopards.
  • The international Union for conservation of nature has declared snow leopards endangered because their population has declined by 20% over the past 16 years.
  • Snow leopards cannot roar.
  • The biggest threats to snow leopards is hunting and poaching.
  • Snow leopards can leap up to 50 feet and travel over 25 miles in one day just for one meal.
Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: Dawa’s cub – Snow Leopard
  • Where the snow leopards live is incredibly cold – it’s not unheard of for temps to reach into the negative 20 ‘s sometimes. However, the animal’s three-foot-long fluffy tail wraps around itself to stay warm.
  • Mother snow leopards line their dens with fur to keep the babies warm.
  • Snow leopards most commonly eat sheep, goats, rabbits, and birds.
  • According to the International Species Information Service, there are 476 snow leopards in zoos around the world and only of 236 of them are here in the United States.

Fun Facts about Golden Monkey

Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: TaoTao – Golden snub-nosed monkeys

Did you know:

  • The most significant feature about the Golden Monkey is that it doesn’t have a nose. Just nostrils.
  • There are four species of Golden Monkey in the world.
  • The Golden Monkey is considered a national treasure in China and is deeply loved by the people.
  • The Golden Monkey is about just over 2 feet in length. Its tail is approximately the same length as its body.
  • The Golden Monkey lives in forests 1500 meters above sea level.

  • Golden Monkeys migrate up and down mountains, rather than horizontally like other animals.
  • Golden monkeys eat fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, and roots primarily. However, they will occasionally also eat birds, eggs, and insects.
  • The golden monkeys have sort of a “family” lifestyle. They take care of each other and the parents dote on the children. However, when the monkeys grow up, they are “evicted” from their family to start their own in the wild. Family units usually consist of one male, several females, and children.
  • Golden monkeys spend most of their lives in trees eating plants.


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 an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden 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 caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet.

Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.

Disneynature BORN IN CHINA | Fun Giant Panda, Snow Leopard and Golden Monkey Facts
Character: MeiMei – Pandas

For more information:

BORN IN CHINA is rated G and opens in theaters everywhere April 21st!

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Tags: Animals, Disneynature, nature
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, wen she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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