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Frozen Planet: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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Frozen Planet (Blu-ray)
Saying that the excellence of Frozen Planet is predictable is not to diminish it with faint praise, but rather to acknowledge that it meets the extraordinarily high standards of all the BBC's nature documentaries--starting with the mother ship, Planet Earth, and continuing through Human Planet, Wild Pacific, Ganges, and all the others. Narrated as usual by the redoubtable David Attenborough, these seven episodes (on three discs, plus bonus material) take us to the Arctic and Antarctica, the two most remote and least hospitable areas on the planet. And yet, despite environments where temperatures reach minus 70 degrees Celsius and the sun doesn't shine for half the year, life flourishes. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of attention given to seals, penguins, and polar bears--so much, in fact, that as engaging as these sequences are (including those depicting male bears and elephant seals waging bloody warfare against would-be suitors trying to horn in on their mates), one might be forgiven if a certain fatigue eventually sets in. Fortunately, there's a great deal more, especially in the more diversified Arctic: from slugs, snails, and caterpillars that freeze solid in winter and thaw in the spring (a cycle that repeats year after year until, at age 14, the insect finally becomes a moth) to minke whales, beluga whales, and narwhals (the single-horned "unicorn of the sea"), from seabirds and cod gathering by the millions to a large pack of wolves tracking a herd of bison (one of many extraordinary aerial sequences) and caribou in mass migration. There are breathtaking shots of the landscape as well, including a glacier in Greenland that advances at a rate of 40 meters per day, as well as a stunning depiction of the aurora borealis. Finally, there is the human element; in episode six, "The Last Frontier," we visit Longyearbyen, Norway, the northernmost town on the planet, and the Dolgan, a tribe in Siberia who hunt walrus with harpoons and scale sheer cliffs to gather eggs to sustain themselves. Finally, the seventh and last episode, "On Thin Ice," chronicles in alarming detail the climate changes, including the rapid loss of ice, that point to serious consequences for the entire world within a few decades.
All of this is presented by way of the kind of magnificent, gorgeous camera work that beggars verbal description. Each episode also contains a "freeze frame" segment explaining how the camera crews captured a particular sequence, sometimes very much at their own peril, while bonus material includes several dozen short "video diaries" and "Frozen Planet: The Epic Journey," an hour-long compilation of some of the series' best moments. --Sam GrahamSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Frozen Planet: The Complete Series arrives on blu ray with MPEG-4/AVC 1080i 1.78:1 encode. There are three BD-50 discs, with a total time of 346 minutes. This is the latest flagship release of the BBC's Natural History Unit, the next in line in the epic 'Planet' series after Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, and Human Planet. It was produced by Alastair Fothergill, executive producer of Planet Earth.
The following review is based on the set that I purchased from UK, with David Attenborough's narration.
1. "To the Ends of the Earth"
6. "The Last Frontier"
7. "On Thin Ice" (David Attenborough's view on climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic.)
This set will be released on Amazon.ca April 17, 2012. Prior to North American release, the "butchered edition" will be shown on Discovery Channel, with Alec Balwin as narrator for the first 6 episodes. There was a lot of political controversy about Episode 7 (global warming). At first, Discovery balked at showing that, obviously for political reasons. It seems that they have changed their mind, and will show Episode 7 with David Attenborough's narration.
So, should you buy the North American release, beware of the version you are actually purchasing. Without a doubt, David Attenborough's UK version is my only recommended version.
I was initially a little concerned about 1080i. Planet Earth, Life and Human Planets were all 1080p (UK versions). But after watching the video, my fear was allayed. The cinematography was truly spectacular. This landmark, six-part series from the BBC's world renowned Natural History Unit brings to the screen the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic.Read more ›
I have been retired for about a year. So I have been buying quite a few of David Attenborough DVD's, to update my education, as I have been working overseas for 20+ years. I have to confess, that I get bored with the plight of Polar bears, whales, penguins and seals very quickly. It covers many other species than the big four, plus superb landscape filming and I did not get bored. I am now up to episode 7 out of 7 as it aires in the UK. Frankly, the camera work was superb, slow motion and time lapse. David's narration was excellent, it kept up my interest. For my fellow Amazonians, this is a must see/listen, it is stunning.
1. "To the Ends of the Earth"
6. "The Last Frontier" (humans in the Arctic and Antarctica)
7. "On thin ice" (David Attenborough's view on climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic.)
The book on the DVD is already out in Canada Frozen Planet: A World Beyond Imagination
The polar regions are among the strangest on earth simply because they are so unfamiliar, and even when we've seen them before (for instance in the first episode of Planet Earth, or Life in the Freezer), there are plenty of surprises here. Hunting sequences and battles between males in rut are always exciting and many are included, but often the hunts don't turn out as you might expect. Besides, even the melting of icicles in the spring is dramatic when you see it in gorgeous high-def slow-motion, as is the formation of ice crystals and snowflakes in high-def time-lapse. There's plenty of humour too, and George Fenton's musical score, reprising his role in Planet Earth, also adds to the sheer entertainment value. Besides, the sound is as amazing as the pictures, from the deep rumbling as a giant iceberg is born to the intimate crackling as of delicate hoarfrost forming.
Astonishingly beautiful as it is, this series is also packed with information, including some new discoveries, and David Attenborough's narration has never been better. Of the six episodes on the first two discs, one introduces us to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, one is devoted to each of the four seasons (at both poles), and one covers the human presence in this "Last Frontier". This final part would have fit just as well in the "Human Planet" series.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Thoroughly entertaining and the picture quality is phenomenal. What else could you expect from the people that made Planet Earth?Published 4 months ago by Dave Couler
It's s great addition to your BD documentary library. In some decades I bet you'll remember that some of these animals where still alive.Published 8 months ago by Diento