Products featured in this Yahoo article are selected by our shopping writers. We will earn a commission from purchases made via links in this article. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Disneynature 'Tiger' on Disney+: Priyanka Chopra Jonas narrates film proving tigers aren't just 'baddies'

"If people don't know and care about something, then they won't protect it," director Mark Linfield said

Just in time to celebrate Earth Day, Disneynature has released a documentary on one of the most secretive, but beautiful creatures in the wild with Tiger (now on Disney+), narrated by Priyanka Chopra Jonas. With a total of 1,500 days of filming in India, co-directors Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz tell an intimate story of tigress Ambar raising her young cubs, and the threat of the big male Shankar.

"They're very impressive. When you first see a tiger, lots of people sometimes scream, sometimes cry," Berlowitz told Yahoo Canada. "They're also exquisite. They're really beautiful."

"But then I think when we made this film, no one had really shown the depth of what their lives are like, the real social life of a tiger. So I think we just had this image of them being stereotypical baddies and scary, and I think what we were excited to do was show a much more complex and nuanced story. Ambar is a mother, we can relate to her because she's juggling so many different things. Shankar, ... he's not bad and a villain the whole time, he's got a soft side."

Watch Tiger on Disney+, plans start at $7.99/monyh

$8 at Disney+

"I think from from a filmmaking perspective, they hold a screen like no other animal," Linfield added.

"I can't remember the number of times in the past where ... I've just wished an animal would be a little bit more engaging when it's doing nothing, and I could just eke out my meagre footage, but it just becomes boring. Whereas a tiger can just sit there and look stunning, just look at it all day long when it's doing nothing. Luckily, our tigers are doing something a lot of the time. I think we were very fortunate with what we were able to capture."

Disneynature's TIGER (Disney)
Disneynature's TIGER (Disney)

'We didn't want to make this film'

While Tiger was able to capture these animals like we've never seen before, creating a nuanced story with a strong narrative arc, the elusiveness of these animals did cause some difficulty. In fact, they didn't even want to make this film because of how secretive tigers are.

"Because they're so elusive we didn't want to make this film when we were first invited by Disney to do it," Berlowitz revealed.

But the directors got phone calls from friends and guides in India who shared that tiger numbers were doing well, and technology had developed to ultimately pique their interest in filming tigers.

"We had got this sort of next generation of remote cameras, working with the forest department we knew that we could put cameras in really secretive locations, like by dens or in these secret pools or caves, and hopefully capture footage that no one had ever seen before," Berlowitz said. "And the important thing about these cameras is you can be half a mile away and operating them on what's like a games console, that capture this really compelling intimate footage."

Watch Tiger on Disney+, plans start at $7.99/monyh

$8 at Disney+

"So it was this sort of combination of factors that allowed us to think, OK we're going to tackle the hardest, most elusive creature."

"Most of the time they're hiding in the deep undergrowth and you can barely see them, or they're sleeping because they're big cats," Linfield added.

"One of the challenges is actually keeping team morale up and just keeping the faith. So when something incredible does happen, you don't miss it, because you're busy with your head down."

Disneynature's TIGER - A tiger mom tries to relax while her cub tries to bite her ear. (Tom Walker/Disney)
Disneynature's TIGER - A tiger mom tries to relax while her cub tries to bite her ear. (Tom Walker/Disney)

'You can't just say it, you have to show it'

With productions like Disneynature giving the public a look at creatures most of us will never see in-person in our lifetime, it's a core element to get humans to care about and protect all inhabitants of our environment.

"If people don't know and care about something, then they won't protect it," Linfield said. "I certainly didn't know as much about tigers as I do now, ... and I really hope that it will inspire people to realize that they're worth protecting."

"It comes at a time where there are very few good news stories, and it gets a bit depressing sometimes when you're making films," Berlowitz added.

"We're so lucky, we spend enormous amounts of time with lions, with chimpanzees, with elephants ... But to be with an animal that is so loved, so special, so unknown, but also gives us hope that people can affect change and help wildlife, I think that's what Disney and Disneynature can do so brilliantly with a show like this. ... We felt there was such an amazing story to tell about Indians transforming the survival and future of their iconic animal."

Linfield also stressed that it's really only through getting access to resources, in this case from Disney, that allows filmmakers to tell a nuanced story about tigers.

"The science is very much with us on this, all animals are pretty much more like us than perhaps we once thought," Linfield said. "But if you're going to say that, you have to back it up with the material. ... You can't just say it, you have to show it."