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A real pride of lions in Africa become the characters in a magical and dramatic tale of love and survival.
Kate Winslet heads the cast of celebrated international talent as the voice of the young, rebellious Suki, Sean Bean as Dark, her dangerous yet magnetic suitor, Rupert Graves as her cowardly brother Linus, Helen Mirren as Suki's mother Macheeba, the wise matriarch of the pride, John Hurt as the baddie Harry, Martin Freeman as Fleck, who is adopted by Macheeba when his mother dies, Robbie Coltrane and Jim Broadbent as the old comedy duo of the pride and Kwame Kwei-Armah as Lush.
John Downer (who made the acclaimed documentaries Lions: Spy in the Den and Elephants: Spy In The Herd), is one of the world's most prominent natural history film makers. He has teamed up with leading television writer Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, How Do You Want Me, Beast) to create the captivating live action tale.
With the aid of computer manipulated images as well as some habituated lions, Pride depicts the almost human traits of real lions in a close community. Family, love and loyalty are tested in a conflict with another pride of marauding wanderers over ultimate control of the Pride lands.
Simon Nye, best known for penning sharp comedies but also responsible for bringing the cherished childrens series The Railway Children and Pollyanna to television, understands the need for engaging family programmes. "I've got four children so I wanted to write something we could all sit down and enjoy together. Pride is a rip-roaring tale, a fusion of comedy, drama and natural history."
"This genre is a completely new thing for television, in the manner of 'Babe', using real animals and animation techniques," says John Downer. "The main story focuses on a pride of lions, fantastic unique animals, who live in human-type set ups. They defend each other and form allegiances. It's more biologically accurate than The Lion King, and the starting point is natural history."