African Cats (2011) Movie Script

Every day in the heart of Africa,
amazing true stories happen
that no one ever sees.
Not so long ago on these plains,
two mothers battled forces
that sought to destroy them.
Only by showing extraordinary courage
would these mothers prevail.
A mighty river divides this land.
It marks the boundary
between two rival families of lions.
To the south lives the River Pride,
six lionesses and their cubs.
They're a close-knit family,
and rely on each other for comfort
and protection.
Layla is the oldest
and most experienced lioness.
She has just one cub,
six-month-old Mara.
Layla's age is starting to show.
A lifetime of hunting has taken its toll.
The cubs are fed and raised
by the lionesses,
but they are protected
by the pride's ruler,
His broken tooth is a war wound
from a recent battle,
and a mark of his bravery.
He is the father of all of the cubs
and their defender.
To Mara, he's the best dad ever.
Fang keeps Mara and her mother safe,
and guards their pride lands,
rich lands that every year
host a great migration
a million strong.
Fang lets all other lions know that
he alone rules the southern kingdom.
North of the river
lives a very different cat,
the fastest creature on land,
a cheetah.
Sita's life is different from a lion's
in every way,
because she lives alone.
Sita has a secret.
Not long ago, she gave birth
in this grassy den to five cubs.
They are still blind, helpless
and totally reliant on their mother.
Sita is a single mother,
and with no pride to help her,
she must leave her cubs all alone
when she hunts.
Cheetahs may be the fastest animals
on land,
but hunting still isn't easy.
The Thomson's gazelles she favors
are almost as fast and very agile.
Sita is built for speed,
but has no staying power.
To have any chance,
she must sneak as close as possible.
Under 30 seconds before exhaustion.
It's now or never.
Sita's cubs will not go hungry today.
The river is a great bringer of life
to this wilderness,
but it can also be a deadly foe.
The surging rapids can carry
even the strongest lion to his death.
This is where dragons dwell.
The River Pride feeds on a dead hippo
washed up on the river's bank.
Crocodiles don't fear
the rulers of the land,
with one exception.
Today, the pride's protector
has earned his keep.
A crocodile-infested river
does have one benefit.
It protects the pride from invasion
from the north.
The northern kingdom is ruled
by Fang's greatest enemy,
And Kali is not alone.
He has four sons in their prime.
Together, they form
the most powerful force in this land,
one set on conquest.
Kali already rules the lionesses
of the north,
but he is not content with that.
He and his sons are driven
to expand their realm to the south.
lf he overthrows Fang,
he will kill Mara
and have new cubs of his own.
Kali is little Mara's greatest danger.
For now, the river is high,
a barrier that Kali will not cross.
But eventually, its waters will fall.
For Sita's five cubs,
living in their snug little home
seems like paradise.
The cubs are now old enough
For their first trip.
The gazelle herds have moved on,
and the family needs to catch up.
Sita quickly discovers
that herding cats isn't easy.
For Sita, it's time to cross
the open plains to find them food.
For the cubs, it's a huge adventure.
What an amazing first adventure.
Massive herds
still cross Fang's southern kingdom,
so food is plentiful for the River Pride.
Layla may be old, but she is
the most experienced hunter.
She knows the best place
to stage an ambush.
The lionesses hunt as a team.
With Layla leading,
they slowly begin to close the trap.
Despite her aging body,
Layla is determined to help the pride.
Hunting is always dangerous.
Layla and her sisters must eat quickly
if they are to get
the reward they deserve.
Fang, the protector,
demands the lion's share.
For Layla, the hunt is a disaster.
A zebra's kick has injured her further.
Staying fit is critical for a lioness.
The pride cannot carry a female
who is too weak to hunt.
Something's wrong.
Kali and his sons are on patrol.
Lions are Sita's greatest enemy.
A male is more than five times her size.
As a single cheetah, she would flee.
But with dependent cubs,
she must hold her ground.
She is totally focused on Kali.
Incredibly, she's goading him.
It seems insane, but it's a trick.
She's drawing him away from her cubs.
Kali tires.
It worked.
His son, however, is more determined.
Sita is risking everything.
Her speed has won the day, for now.
Her terrified cubs
are scattered and lost, in danger
until they're back with their mother.
Time is not on their side.
The dark will cloak other predators.
It's a mother's worst nightmare.
Hyenas have taken two of her cubs.
They're gone forever.
The season is changing
and the pride lands are drying.
The great herds are moving on
in search of greener pastures.
They may be gone for a year or more.
With the herds gone,
the River Pride will struggle
to find food.
Layla is exhausted by her injuries.
Mara tries to comfort her mother,
but there is little she can do.
With the herds moving on,
the pride must follow.
Layla cannot go on.
She needs rest so her body can heal.
Mara faces a terrible choice,
stay with her mother
or follow the pride.
Layla calls to the pride and to Mara,
begging them to wait for her.
But the pride must leave
in search of food.
They cannot jeopardize themselves
and the other cubs.
The pride moves
further and further away.
Layla forces herself to try and follow.
Mara stays with Layla,
but is in danger now.
Mother and daughter
have lost the protection of the pride.
Layla must find the strength
to catch up,
For the sake of her daughter.
Sita's cubs are growing in leaps
and bounds.
In their minds,
they're the fiercest hunters in the land.
Enemies approach.
Three cheetah brothers.
They may be fellow cheetahs,
but these brothers can be dangerous
for Sita's cubs.
They are the one foe
she cannot outrun.
The brothers back down,
but they have separated Sita
from her young.
Male cheetahs
will sometimes attack small cubs.
Incredibly, the cubs hold their ground.
They have their mother's spirit.
In this land, even bullies get bullied.
The lionesses are tired
After their long journey.
But cubs will be cubs
and siesta time is soon over.
New playmates are always welcome.
Luckily, he can't get the lid off.
Layla and Mara have braved
the long journey and finally caught up.
But their timing couldn't be worse.
The river has fallen.
The pride's protective moat has gone.
Kali sees his chance
to invade the southern kingdom.
Kali and his largest son cross
the crocodile-infested waters.
Fang senses the danger.
Sounding strong might deter an attack.
But Kali is not fooled.
Fang sees it's two against one.
His chances are slim.
Kali attacks.
Fang has no answer.
Kali's son threatens, too.
Fang deserts his pride,
leaving them unprotected.
Kali is poised for takeover.
Mara may be killed.
But a mother will do anything
to save her cub.
Layla is the lionesses leader.
Despite her injury,
she puts herself between the invaders
and the precious cubs.
Inspired by Layla,
the other lionesses attack.
Layla and the lionesses have saved
the pride and their precious cubs.
Kali has lost this battle,
but next time
he may bring reinforcements.
Fang has also been saved
by the lionesses.
But for how long?
The attack has taken a terrible toll.
This little cub is badly hurt
and lucky to be alive,
but Mara is nowhere to be found.
Layla has taken
Another devastating blow in the fight.
It takes all her strength
just to get to her feet.
She must find her Mara.
With a mother's desperate hope,
she calls for her cub.
Mara has survived.
Her mother's bravery has saved her.
There is no greater bond
than that between a lioness
and her cub.
The rains have returned,
but the herds are still far away.
Hunting is never easy.
Now, it's dangerous for Sita as well.
Sita has already lost two of her cubs
to these deadly enemies.
Her biggest fear is that
they will steal the others.
The hyenas call,
drawing in more and more of the pack.
They know Sita is hiding something.
Bit by bit, they tighten the noose.
The hyenas have been kept at bay.
This time, Sita's courageous defense
has saved the cubs.
Cold, hard rain.
This is a time of suffering for everyone.
For the River Pride, the cold rain
has been a blessing in disguise.
It allows them to appreciate the bond
and protection of a larger family.
One of Layla's sisters, Malaika,
has small cubs of her own.
With her injuries not healing,
Layla is drawn closer
to her sister's family.
lf Layla builds a bond with her sister,
then Malaika might look after Mara
as well as her own cubs.
Layla's time is short.
Strengthening the bond with her sister
may be Mara's best chance to live.
Layla may soon have to
give up her cub.
And Mara's life will depend on
getting closer to her cousins.
It's happening.
Mara is being adopted by Malaika
and the pride.
There's nothing better for a lion
than close companionship.
With Mara safe,
Layla can go.
The time has come
for Layla to leave the pride
Layla struggles to find a quiet,
safe place to be alone.
The pride is now far away.
Mara searches for any scent,
any sign of her mother,
but it's not there.
All alone
with her precious cub far away,
Layla, at last, gives up the fight.
Sita's cubs have grown in size
and strength,
and they can't wait to show off
their new powers.
Since the failed invasion,
Kali has prowled the southern side
of the river with his largest son.
Now, he calls on his other sons
To join them.
Kali goes to greet his sons.
They have been separated
for some time.
The family bonds between
these ruthless fighters are very strong.
But there is also fierce rivalry
between them.
They all want the crown.
But Kali is their father
and he lets them know
that he is still king.
Together, they are the most powerful
force in the land.
Together, they will make another
assault on Fang and the River Pride.
Fang's future as leader
is hanging by a thread.
As the months have passed,
the cubs have grown into young adults.
Within this close-knit family,
Mara has thrived.
She is now a teenager in lion years.
The bonds of affection within the
River Pride have never been stronger.
Kali and his sons
are coming with a vengeance.
Fang's enemies lock in.
They launch the attack.
Fang's only hope is escape.
He runs for his life.
Fang will be shown no mercy
if he stays.
Kali's gang is victorious,
and Fang is never seen again.
Now the invaders attack
the rest of the River Pride.
The fighting is over.
Kali and his sons rule.
Their will is now law
on both sides of the river.
Kali's sons try to make peace
with the lionesses.
But in the battle
the youngsters were driven away.
The pain of losing them
is still too fresh.
The pride's young males
are in the greatest danger.
Kali's gang view them as a threat
and hunt them down.
Mara also fled in the battle,
but as a lioness, is in less danger.
For the first time in her life,
she is alone.
She has lost everything.
Kali's gang
drive out Mara's young male cousins,
banishing them
from the pride lands forever.
And there is only one escape route,
across the river.
The river has swollen,
but the young males
have no choice but to cross.
And now,
the crocodiles have the advantage.
The youngsters know
what lurks just beneath,
but they fear Kali more
than they fear crocodiles.
The current drags them down
into deeper water.
They are in over their heads
in every sense.
They've escaped,
But just by the skin
of a crocodile's teeth.
With all the warring between lions
south of the river,
life in the north has been
relatively carefree for Sita.
The cubs have grown to young adults,
but they're still cubs at heart.
Sita is not finished with their training.
It's time for another journey,
one where they can learn
the final lessons they'll need to survive.
Lesson one, buffalo are very grumpy.
Lesson two,
Never get fresh with an ostrich.
The savanna
is the greatest schoolyard,
but some of the other kids
are a bit different.
A serval cat is drafted
into a game of tag.
It's no fun for the serval,
but the young cheetahs
can safely test their skills
against smaller teeth and claws.
And wouldn't every cat
just love to chase a dog?
A jackal is the perfect size.
Lesson three,
even little dogs bite back.
Lesson four,
The cubs remember all too well
Their terrifying encounters with hyenas
when they were small.
Now, they must learn
to stand their ground.
The cubs have finally come to terms
with hyenas.
They're close
to becoming independent cheetahs.
But not just yet.
With her family blown to the wind,
Mara has found living alone
a challenge.
With no pride to hunt with her,
she's going hungry.
Warthogs seem to be the perfect meal,
small, tasty and easy to catch.
Not quite so easy after all.
The herds are still gone,
and all the other alternatives
seem to be
But young lions
think they're a match for anything.
lf only Mara had taken Sita's class
in avoiding grumpy buffalo.
Now the real cost of losing her family
is painfully clear.
Mara was driven out
before she learnt to hunt.
The gazelles that Sita hunts
have crossed the river to the south.
She must follow them
or her family will starve.
For the cubs, this may be
their most dangerous lesson yet.
Sita rarely crosses the river.
She knows it's deadly.
They've just entered Kali's new realm.
The River Pride lionesses
once again proclaim
their ownership of the pride lands.
They have made peace with Kali.
Their new ruler has become
a committed protector.
Mara is still an outcast.
With food scarce, the lionesses
don't want Mara taking a share.
She must fend for herself.
It seems harsh,
but the other lionesses
have new priorities.
Kali's cubs.
Kali has achieved his goal.
The lionesses
are now raising his cubs, not Fang's.
Sita and her family confidently
stride across Kali's land.
The young cheetahs
now have the confidence
to challenge everything in their path.
Even lions.
But wait.
The young cheetahs have yet to learn
that lions live in prides.
The hunters are being hunted.
This lesson is not hunting lions,
it's escaping them!
The game is over.
The most important lesson,
never mess with lions.
The sight that Mara
and all the lions have been longing for.
At last the great herds
are returning to the pride lands.
For the lions, the good times are back.
With the pride lands rich again,
it's also a chance for Mara
to end her hunger.
No longer hungry,
Mara has one last goal,
to be accepted back
into the River Pride.
Sita's work is done.
She has taught her cubs
everything they need to know
about this wilderness.
The cubs have survived
the toughest of upbringings,
but now they know what's safe,
what's dangerous
and, above all, how to hunt.
Sita knows her cubs are ready
to fend for themselves.
She must return to the solitary life
of a cheetah.
Against all odds, with the courage
that only a mother can bring,
Sita has raised
three magnificent cheetahs.
Mara is desperate
to rejoin her mother's pride
into which she was born,
but will Malaika and the lionesses
welcome her back?
The lionesses have finally accepted
Mara back into their family.
Layla's brave fight for her cub to live on
was not in vain.
The River Pride is reborn.
Sita's cubs and Mara
are living proof
of the power of a mother's love.
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