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Life in the Freezer

David Attenborough , Alastair Fothergill    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Life in the Freezer + Life in Cold Blood + The Life of Mammals
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Antarctica is the wildest, coldest, most isolated continent on Earth. Encrusted in 90% of the world's ice, its 5.4 million square miles are doubled each winter by the freezing of the seas. The average temperature at the South Pole is -56, dropping to -90 and below in mid-winter. Yet this inhospitable landscape is home to a surprisingly rich variety of wildlife. Natural history guru David Attenborough and his camera team spent three years braving mountainous seas, blizzards with 100 mph winds, plummeting temperatures and glaciers the size of cathedrals to capture the majesty of Antarctica both on land and underwater. In this starkly beautiful landscape, they discover penguins by the millions, whales by the thousands, half the world's seal population and seabirds galore.


Life in the Freezer is a startling portrait of Antarctica as a dramatic, violent, yet ultimately poetic ecosystem. It's also a miraculously beautiful documentary that can stir an armchair adventurer, make one wish to be standing alongside host David Attenborough as he gazes at the dream-like enormity of glaciers ("glass-yeers," as Attenborough pronounces it) or visits one of the pristine, Georgian islands where seabirds flock during Antarctica's version of spring and summer. With its frozen mass subject to cyclical expansions and retractions, Antarctica's changes determine the feeding, mating, and habitat patterns of a wide variety of wildlife. Life in the Freezer's multi-episode format allows each of those changes to be explored in rich detail. Attenborough demonstrates why certain birds migrate to Antarctica at the same time that humpback and killer whales show up to feed on swarms of shrimp-like krill. In some of the most amazing footage in the series, bull elephant seals appear on Antarctica's shores to manage their harems, mate as often as possible, and brutally fight to keep competitors away. As for penguins: they march, they partner up, they stand still in sub-zero snowstorms. But they also end up as seal prey (a darkly comic sight) and vault through sea waves like mythic heroes. This 1993 series is something special, easily surpassing March of the Penguins as a vision of life in the harshest environment on Earth. --Tom Keogh

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous look at Antarctica April 20 2010
By Cheryl TOP 100 REVIEWER
This great 6-part BBC series on Antarctica might be a bit older (before the popularity of Planet Earth and March of the Penguins), but is entirely remarkable. The photography is outstanding, and the series is impressive in what was actually captured on film. There is the expected focus on seals, penguins and other natural inhabitants, but as well, a few shots of host David Attenborough bravely attempting to share the local's territory (however briefly). Though there are no bonus features, the series itself includes some expedition history and progress in survival techniques. Life in a Freezer runs approx. 3 hours and is one of the best (if not the best) documentary on Antarctica. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Penguins Jan. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
They live such a harsh life and until I saw movies like this I never knew
how harsh a life they lived .They are beautiful creatures,that God made
and God knew he equipped them to handle it !
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attenborough Does it Again Nov. 30 2005
By John A Lee III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
David Attenborough is one of the best presenters of nature documentaries in the business. His easygoing style is able to communicate both information and interest and the organizations he works with, usually, the BBC, do a first rate job on the filming. This project is no exception.

LIFE IN THE FREEZER examines life in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic. Necessarily, this mostly involves pinnipeds and birds but he makes an effort to give a broad survey of life in all of its diversity ranging from lichens to great whales and humans. What controls the lives of every organism in this hellish environment is the ice. The yearly cycle of the ice retreating and advancing controls everything from feeding to mating to watching feeding and mating. It is a harsh environment and, again, the footage is superb.

The DVD consists of a miniseries of 6 half hour episodes. Each has a central theme and is presented below:

The Bountiful Sea -This episode takes place mostly north of the permanent ice but starts off with an explanation of how ice controls everything. From there, the food chain is examined and, in the Antarctic, that almost always leads back to the organism called krill. Almost everything eats it or eats something else that has eaten it. After review the basics, the action moves north to South Georgia Island which lies above the permanent ice. The birds examined in this one are able to get ashore whenever they like. The primary foci are humpback whales, krill, wandering albatross and King penguins.

The Ice Retreats - Each year, the ice retreats south and this allows most of the wildlife to begin its mating cycles. Even species that are mostly marine need land for mating and real estate is at a premium as are females. Everyone is in a hurry to get started with the business of mating because there is limited time before the ice returns and the rearing needs to be completed before it does. Much of this episode also takes place in the sub-Antarctic but it moves from there to the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Race to Breed - For a species to succeed, it must be able to reproduce. This is no easy matter in any environment but the rigors of the polar environment just add to the difficulty. The various species have differing individual strategies but they almost all have one thing in common: Beat the Ice. In addition to fur seals, chinstrap penguins, and leopard seals, the lives of insects, crustaceans and plants are examined.

The Door Closes - As winter gets closer, the wildlife in the Antarctic has to prepare for the long and cold times ahead. The last of the kids have to be made somewhat self sufficient and everyone has to get where there will be adequate food and shelter. For most species, this means moving north for a change of habitat and behavior. The ones who lag behind are apt to face dire consequences.

The Big Freeze - Winter is the big challenge for all life in the extreme south. Most species head further north but two have adapted to live out the worst of the cold on the continent itself. Weddel seals pup and then organize themselves to keep breathing holes open in the ice. They stay the course along the edge of the continent. Emperor Penguins do one step further. They actually hatch their eggs during the worst of it and have adapted a strategy to survive. I suppose it helps that there are no predators around with which they have to worry.

Footsteps in the Snow - Man is a latecomer to the far south. This episode goes over some very brief points of the original explorations and then examines how man has had to adapt to live and work down there. It also provides some fascinating footage on how this documentary series was shot and assembled. Although it is light on the natural history aspect of things, it is no less interesting.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Attenborough is unbelievable Feb. 9 2007
By Y. Deshmukh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a disc that contains six movies on it, each with a theme that revolves around one season in the Antarctic and what happens during that time to the continent and the animals and birds that live in or on it.

These movies are so realistically and clearly presented that you need a blanket to curl up in while watching Attenborough walk around in freezing Antarctica filming all kinds of creatures - on land, under water and in the air. The guy (and his camera team) are simply unbelievable.

They spent three years filming these scenes. As anyone who has experienced anything colder than freezing can attest to, spending even a few minutes outside on a cold day can be daunting. But to spend all your time in temperatures of 74 below, with winds of upto 120 miles per hour - that is either sheer determination or insanity, or maybe a mix of both.

Whatever, the result is startling movies that are breathtaking, superbly shot, and extremely well-presented. I have watched most of Attenborough's films and they are all top-notch. He is definitely the world's most amazing wildlife and nature filmmaker ever. He presents everything as is, without sentimentality, but with a clear sense of wonder at all the marvels he is depicting. When he speaks and shows you scenes, you feel you are there.

Hands down one of the top three wildlife films I have ever seen. Highly recommended.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Freezer Jan. 30 2006
By William P. Henry - Published on Amazon.com
This documentary is a bit different from the "March of the Penguins" movie. "Freezer" is quite abit more historical and gives a better overall view of life at/or around the South Pole.

I personally enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone interested in life at the bottom of the earth.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frozen Nature March 7 2006
By Derrick B. Edney - Published on Amazon.com
I have always admired documentaries on nature and "Life In The Freezer", narrated by British Naturalist, David Attenborough, is

a sensational perspective describing how wildlife etches out a living in one of the coldest regions on planet earth! From penquins, seals, and to whales, it is truly amazing how such animals have adapted to a world full of ice, freezing cold, and the perils of being exposed to constant chilling temperatures!

This DVD is well worth watching!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super stuff, no extra's Jan. 11 2006
By FRED - Published on Amazon.com
Sir David does it again, this is simply top notch stuff, pity there are no extra's at all but that doesnt detract from a great informative dvd. It kept my 6 year old quiet for 3 hours and that was worth 11 bucks of my money.
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