Hanging With The McClain Sisters At The Chimpanzee Premiere

In great films, movie magic is made through both what you see and what you hear. Helping to guide movie watchers through a range of emotions, the soundtrack of a film is responsible for setting the tone and capturing the soul of the movie. For Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, the title song, “Rise” by the McClain sisters does exactly that. After a live performance and the movie premier, we had a chance to meet the trio and ask a few questions about the song and sisterhood.

The most well-know of the McClain sisters is the youngest, China (13), who is known for her role as Chyna Parks on Disney Channel’s ANT Farm, but it was clear from our interview that singing was more of a family thing than a solo act. Side by side with her sisters Lauryn (15) and Sierra (18), the girls comfortably answered questions about their music, the movie, family and sisterhood. And when the girls said (in between shared giggles) that working together wasn’t really like work because it was fun, I believed them.

McClain Sisters

With dad as the composer and mom as the lyricist, it’s no wonder that the girls hobbies include singing and playing the guitar. Sure they break for movie night and some Chick-fil-A, but they seem to really love what they do. While the girls are on the Disney fast-track to stardom and wear sky-high (adorable) stilettos, they appear to remain grounded. Joking about sisterly gripes over clothing especially between the younger two who still share a bedroom, they seemed like your average teenage sisters. When asked how they stay down to earth, they credited their parents and their faith. (Yay for good parenting!)

During the interview, the sisters emphasized that the most important message behind their song, which was inspired by the film, is unity. As I observed the family dynamics, it was clear that the message of unity and togetherness is one that not only fit the movie but also defined the McClain family.

Put your hand in mine

Hold you head up high

And together we’ll rise.


To illustrate the family’s unity, when the credits rolled at the end of Chimpanzee song credits were given simply to The McClain Family. There are no stars here, just a family that works together doing what they love — making music.

Before meeting the girls, we were treated to a live performance of “Rise” during a Friends for Change awards ceremony. Inspired by Disney’s Friends for Change efforts, to teach kids how they can work together to make a difference for good, the sisters shared how they have become more aware of their impact on the planet. “Rise” is the fourth Friends for Change anthem to be released with a benefit back to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. This contribution marks nearly $1 million awarded through the music campaign to charities working to protect the planet and conserve nature for future generations.

Disneynature’s Chimpanzee opens in theaters April 20, 2012. Download “Rise on iTunes.

McClain Sisters

Disclosure – I was invited to a Chimpanzee premiere blogger event, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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