In the directors' own words, Chang is a "melodrama with man, the jungle, and wild animals as its cast." Kru, the farmer depicted in the film, battles leopards, tigers, and even a herd of elephants, all of which pose a constant threat to his livelihood. As filmmakers, Cooper and Schoedsack attempted to capture real life with their cameras, though they often re-staged events that had not been captured adequately on film. The danger was real to all the people and animals involved. Tigers, leopards, and bears are slaughtered on camera, while the film's climax shows Kru's house being demolished by a stampeding elephant.
Chang was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production at the first Academy Awards in 1929, the only year when that award was presented. Chang was released by Famous Players-Lasky, a division of Paramount Pictures.