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Life in the Undergrowth


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Life in the Undergrowth + Life in Cold Blood + Life of Birds (Full Screen) [3 Discs]
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Attenborough
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 2 2006
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBD9W6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,138 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Life in the Undergrowth (Dbl DVD) (WS)

Amazon.ca

By getting up close and personal with Life in the Undergrowth, this extraordinary BBC series sets a new standard of excellence in wildlife cinematography. Hosted by veteran nature expert David Attenborough and utilizing the latest advances in macrophotography, the five-part series is dedicated to bugs of all shapes and sizes, from microscopic gnats to cave-dwelling millipedes so large they can capture bats in mid-flight and feast for hours thereafter! The patience involved in filming such previously unseen marvels must have been grueling (as confirmed by producer Mike Salisbury in a splendid bonus interview), but the results are nothing less than astonishing, with a parade of sequences so impressive that even insect-haters will pause in amazement. With an emphasis on reproduction and mating behaviors, each program focuses on a different, generalized group of creatures, many of them never filmed before, so that lay-persons and entomologists will be equally enlightened by discoveries made in the process of filming.

As always, Attenborough serves as an expert witness, cordial, fearless, and quintessentially British as he explains what we're seeing, from the nocturnal fluorescence of scorpions (glowing at night in ultraviolet light, they perform a mating dance playfully described as "a nuptial pas de deux") to the mysterious, 17-year life cycle of the cicada. Throughout, we see everything, both frightening and beautiful, from an intimate, bug's-eye view, in detail so vividly colorful that you'll never view the insect world in quite the same way again. (Likewise for the diverse variety of critters on view in episode 3: "The Silk Spinners," which according to Salisbury is capable of curing arachnophobes from their irrational fear of spiders.) Just when you think Life in the Undergrowth couldn't get any more fascinating, it does: episode 4, "Intimate Relations," shows how many insects symbiotically depend on other species for food, shelter, or completion of their reproductive cycles, and episode 5, "Supersocieties," focuses on the social complexities of insect colonists like ants and termites. Enough to give you the creeps for days, you say? Think again, for after seeing Life in the Undergrowth (a perfect companion piece to the Nova episode "The Unknown World"), you may find yourself in the garden, on your knees, eager for a better look at the countless millions of tiny creatures that surround us every day. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Plato on May 6 2006
Format: DVD
We've all seen bugs on TV before... Queen bees, spiders spinning webs at high speed, ants building a colony. They're all here in this series, but that and oh so much more! Like the film Microcosmos, which gets up close and personal, as it were, with the bugs, this series gives you an almost over the shoulder into insect life. And with the film technology that much better from the time of Microcosmos, the images are even more astonishing and unbelievable. Remarkably, many of the discoveries presented in the series are quite recent. As the producer says in the extras, one particularly creepy scene (involving bats and an enormous centipede) was based on a research paper that hasn't even been published yet. Another plus to the series is host Attenborough, who explains things with both wit and enthusiasm. But none of that hyper-active enthusiasm you get from hosts of reality shows. Watching how he gets himself into an encounter with a dangerous or inconveniently placed insect is almost as interesting as the insects themselves. For some reason only a Brit can host a nature show and he's possibly the best. Can't wait for his next series. Own them all if you can.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Callahan Maureen on Feb. 28 2007
Format: DVD
What could I say that Michael Plato has not said already? Thank you Michael, keep spreading the word.

The BBC Natural History Unit consistently turns out viewing that is extraordinary, informative and captivating - in a class of its own among natural history documentaries. Because it is always just that, well-resourced and researched documentary that is thoroughly engaging, without the imposition of named characters in recognisably 'human' narratives. These films engender inquistive respect for, not syrupy trivilisation of, the natural world. What a model Attenborough is to us. I wish I owned them all - I'm working on it. I don't even wait to see the release on TV anymore, I just trust that I'm going to be thrilled and wowed.

If you do not yet know the pleasure of viewing BBC Natural History series, any of them are fine introductions. I recently introduced my Canadian partner to "Life on Earth," who was shocked that she hadn't grown up with this quality televsion. And even though Attenborough's dress style and the filming technology is obviously dated, the story of the evolution of life is aging well. (Want a thorough and sound balance to Creationism for your kids? there it is...)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arla C. Macnab on Jan. 27 2008
Format: DVD
It is absolutely amazing how they have cameras tucked into niches and burrows. They also use time lapse filming alot. You can see an entire beehive be built in 30 seconds. My son loved this DVD. From gross and nasty, to beautiful and amazing. Good film for those who love creepy crawlies!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mustangcarpenter on March 19 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Do you know what has been done to death? Documentaries about Africa and Whales. While cool in their own right, the documentaries have been playing since television came into the private home. We in North America probably know more about elephants and lions than the people that live there. I would rather watch a documentary on White-tailed Deer that live in my backyard.

On the contrast... this collection is everything that I wanted and more. This alien world of creepy crawlers and buzzers is the coolest documentary i have seen to date! It is the same BBC quality that goes into the oceans or plains of Africa but now with all new and wonderful, sometimes nightmarish, material.

I would recommend Life in the Undergrowth to anybody that loves nature and educational T.V.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on Oct. 21 2012
Format: DVD
I really wish they had this in blu-ray. I haven't actually watched it from the dvds, but I have watched all 5 programs that make up the set. It's all about insects, and is fascinating. I've probably re-watched the whole series about 10 times now over the past 2 years, and I probably will another 20 before I die. lol.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Breedyk on Sept. 19 2009
Format: DVD
This is a great DVD. To get so up close and personal with such a relatively small part of Creation and to see it on such an in depth scale is amazing. And then to think that some of the things filmed in the making of this DVD have only just been discovered. Wow. Even my daughter thinks this DVD is cool. A great buy and a lot of fun to watch with your kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JAR6 on Aug. 4 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Picture quality is excellent, as are all of the Attenborough/BBC documentaries. Well worth watching multiple times. I have a great deal of admiration for the videographers and their patience in getting the great shots. Sir Attenborough is amazing! He gets right down to the ground when explaining something about the creature being filmed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terri Groh on Sept. 8 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Once again this collection of DVDs is a spectacular documentary, with very interesting scenes and natural history, that is narrated by an enthusiastic David Attenborough. A must have if you like nature programming or are looking for something for your children.
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