Hank is clearly crazy about big cats, and it doesn’t bother him thatpeople say he is just plain crazy. All he cares about are cats, his research and his wife and three kids, whom he left behind in Chicago three years ago.
When we meet him, Hank’s world is about to change dramatically. His wife Madaline (Tippi Hedren) and their teenage children-two sons and a daughter (Melanie Griffith)- are coming to stay with him. Hank is sure his family will love living with the lions as much as he does.
Hank’s friend Mativo, a local researcher, warns Hank of an impromptu meeting with the Local Grant Committee that is about to converge on Hank’s house. The meeting ends with 2 members limping away vowing revenge for the cats’ over zealous play.
Hank and Mativo set off for the airport by boat. Two huge tigers come along for the ride. Despite his fear of the furry crewmen, Mativo’s companionship is easily recruited because he knows the safest place in the whole district is right next to Hank. But Hank never was one for getting dates right, and what he doesn’t know is that his family has already arrived, and are on their way by bus to the house.
Although puzzled by Hank’s non-appearance, Madeline and the kids are delighted with the beautiful house. They don’t know it yet, but Madeline’s instruction to “open all the windows” is the beginning of the most harrowing few hours of their lives.
The big cats, on the other hand are delighted with their new playmates. They are also delighted to finally be granted access to parts of the house that were previously off limits. They love playing tag with four new-comers who obligingly scream and run and hide every time you try to jump them.
A lion’s sense of humor requires a little getting used to. Though Madeline and the kids like to laugh, they believe this joke will kill them.
They will have to learn for themselves the two chief rules for co-existing with big cats. The first is don’t run. The second is always keep your head, which is not easy when you think a lion is about to deprive you of it.
Things become even more hazardous when a fierce battle erupts around them as Robbie lion, (who Hank describes as “a big pussycat”) and Togar lion (a rogue made crazy by exile) struggle for leadership of the pride. If Togar wins and hunts them out, Hank’s family will have nothing more to worry about, ever.
By now Hank has arrived at the airport, and realizes the deadly danger his wife and kids are in. He always loved his family and never really understood why his obsessions irritated them. But now, possibly too late, he can guess what is eating at them.
He borrows an old infirm car from a reluctant friend and sets off for home, pausing only to collect Mativo from his perch in the tree.
Mativo’s graphic and grisly word portraits of the family’s probable fate almost have Hank tearing out his hair with anguish. Mativo won’t let him forget that if the lions he loves kill the family he loves, there will be only one man to blame…
And it seems unlikely that the ancient car will survive long enough to get Hank and Mativo and those two persistent tigers home at all…
At the house one funny scene evolved into an even funnier one. But at the height of hilarity there is always the threat of a sudden descent into tragedy. The pace and tension increase relentlessly to a shattering conclusion…
Roar” is a unique comedy of survival: Madeline and her children must struggle to survive in a world suddenly gone crazy with cats. The cats must somehow survive the savagery of the game controllers. Togar and Robbie are locked into their own war of survival. Hand is a man fighting to preserve a dream…
And above all, “Roar” is an unforgettable experience of love and laughter. But be warned: when you share a joke with a lion you could easily laugh your head off.
Tippi Hedren (Madaline) with her family(Melanie Griffith and her children) gathered around her at her home, Shambala, telling the story of how Shambala came to be. All three generations present, Tippi explains the amazing events that led to her very special life with the animals.