Friday, June 21, 2024

Jane Goodall, 89, Isn’t Monkeying Around with New Apple TV Series Based on Her Activism


Jane Goodall, the iconic conservationist, just turned 89 years young. But that didn’t stop her coming recently to the LA premiere of Apple TV + “Jane”, a family series inspired by her mission of saving savings animals and the environment, premiered recently at the California Science Center where there is an exhibit called ‘Jane’s Endangered Animal Experience. 

From Sinking Ship Entertainment, the live action/CGI blended series was created, written and directed by J.J. Johnson.  The indefatigable Goodall told the audience that “This particular show is coming at really good time.  As you all know, we are going through pretty grim times especially environmentally, the number of animals becoming extinct, the forests being destroyed and the oceans being polluted. Many people, especially young people are losing hope.” 

Goodall went on to say that, “You get to choose what impact you make, what you buy, wear and eat.  When you think that one person making a difference couldn’t mean anything, but if hundreds, thousands and then millions of people are all making ethical choices then that does change things.  To help people, animals and the environment.  Children are changing their parents and grandparents’ minds.  That’s why a series like this, encouraging young people to become interested in saving animals,  is truly thrilling to be a part of.  I love that in the end of each episode the young actors in character, talk to people that are actually studying and helping to save the animals that are talked about in that episode. A program like this, which shows the power of the individual and that everyone is connected to each other every single day, will hopefully inspire every young person and the adults watching this show all over the world.  I’m very happy to be involved with “Jane.”  

J.J. Johnson has done a terrific job indeed with this series.  Each episodes shows tween-aged Jane, played wonderfully by Ava Louise Murchison, who is determined to help save the animals she so dearly loves.  Her sidekick David, a funny, endearing Mason Blomberg, find themselves in their fantasy and reality and in exotic locations, trying to track and save whales, polar bears, tigers bees a, butterflies and more. Jane is named after her idol, Jane Goodall, and boy does she do her homework.  She literally is obsessed with the animal world and the dangers they face and has an almost photographic memory in her quest to help them. Jane’s exasperated but supportive Mom is played sweetly by Tamara Almeida.  Ava plays Jane with poise and grace.  There are cameos, too as the series goes along, Mary-Louise Parker and more. The CGI and effects are spectacular. 

Oscar winner Diane Warren, a respected animal activist herself, wrote the theme song “One Step Closer” sung beautifully by the great Leona Lewis.  No wonder Jane Goodall is thrilled to be a part of this series.  “Jane” is a series destined to garner the awards it deserves.  Jane Goodall has said that “Let us develop respect for all living things.”  J.J. Johnson’s “Jane” shows that respect that with deep meaning, whimsical humor and hope for children and adults alike. 

“Jane” is now streaming on Apple TV +

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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