I loved this film - I keep it for visiting children, and it seems to be enjoyed most by those over eight.
It is rather sad - but the ending is satisfactory, and the story itself very exciting. All filmed in Southern Africa, and very authentic (I used to live there, so was prepared to be critical.)
The photography is superb, and the cheetah (the main character, really) is just amazingly beautiful and beguiling. The little boy star is an excellent actor, too.
This is one of those films that deserves to be better known - highly recommended.