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Madagascar [Blu-ray]

David Attenborough    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.98
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Frequently Bought Together

Madagascar [Blu-ray] + Africa [Blu-ray] + Nature's Most Amazing Events [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 95.89


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The BBC may not be able to top Planet Earth, the landmark 2006 production that is arguably the finest nature documentary ever made, but they have once again come close with Madagascar. This spectacular three-part series, coproduced with Animal Planet and featuring the familiar voice-over of David Attenborough, reveals the many wonders of the world's biggest island, a place of startling variety in terms of both geography and wildlife. That's due to an event that occurred 60 million years ago, when Africa and India separated, creating the thousand-mile-long island a few hundred miles off the African coast, a place so isolated that more than 80 percent of its animal species can be found there and nowhere else. Left to their own devices, these creatures evolved and diversified to an extraordinary degree, each adapting to its own environment, whether it be the barren mountains that divide Madagascar in half, the hot, arid western side, or the lush rain forest on the eastern side. There are, for instance, some 80 different types of lemur, the dog-faced primate that is the island's most recognizable inhabitant. These include the tiny mouse lemur (weighing in at about two ounces); the child-sized indri; a lemur whose diet consists of bamboo loaded with lethal doses of cyanide; the ghostly white silky sifaka, of which only about 200 remain; and many more. But that's not all. We also see a chameleon about the size of an ant; tenrecs, small, hedgehog-like creatures capable of giving birth to 32 babies in one litter; white, eyeless, cave-dwelling fish that swim upside down; the fossa, a giant mongoose that's the island's biggest predator; and a plethora of other insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, and flora. As usual, all of this is breathtakingly photographed, with a clarity and vividness that are only enhanced in the Blu-ray version (each chapter includes about 10 minutes detailing the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to capture their footage, much of it depicting animals and behaviors never photographed before). Of course, as human civilization encroaches inexorably, many of these animals face extinction--all the more reason that this superb documentary belongs in any serious nature lover's collection. --Sam Graham

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attenborough swansong? Thankfully, no! June 21 2011
By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Madagascar is a 3-part BBC Earth series similar to Galapagos, Yellowstone, Ganges and others which explore a specific region in depth (and in high-def). What makes it special is its connection with David Attenborough, who (along with a single cameraman) was the first to document the astonishing wildlife of this enormous island 50 years earlier. Attenborough handles the narration, mostly in voice-over, for the whole series, and then takes the central role in the hour-long extra on disc 2, "Attenborough and the Giant Egg".

The egg in question was given to him in pieces on his first visit to Madagascar, and turns out to be a relic of the largest bird ever to live on earth, which lived alongside the first humans to arrive on the island for a few centuries, but is now extinct. What caused its extinction? Attenborough's investigation of that question broadens into a reflection on relations between humans and wildlife on Madagascar, a reflection made especially poignant by his personal feeling for the place and intimate knowledge of how it has changed during his lifetime. This film shows that the news is not all bad, as it documents the work that some residents of the island are doing to conserve its wild heritage; but the main 3-part series reminds us repeatedly that prospects are not good for many of the species here, 80% of whom are found nowhere else on earth. This is also true of the other extra on disc 2, an intimate 45-minute study of some ring-tailed lemurs, ably presented by Charlotte Uhlenbroek.

At the end of the main series, Attenborough (on location) remarks on what a shame it would be if this living laboratory of evolution should be lost before we have really understood it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Sir--I want some more! Jan. 2 2012
Format:Blu-ray
I highly recommend this excellent addition to everyone's BBC/David Attenborough video collections! Incredible videography and masterful narration.

My only regret is that they spent so much time on the Lemurs and Chameleons. Those truly are fascinating and entertaining to watch, but there are so many other cool creatures unique to Madagascar. I was especially disappointed they didn't show the day-flying Madagascan Sunset moth, Chrysiridia rhipheus, which is more colorful than most butterflies, or the incredible Madagascan Moon Moth, Argema mittrei. Google these two flamboyantly exotic creatures and tell me they're not worthy of mention. :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching Nov. 10 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I have the other BBC documentaries narrated by David Attenborough and all of them have a very high standard of narration - very clear and concise; with descriptions/explanations understandable to everyone (including children). This documentary shows how Madagascar is unique.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Madagascar June 11 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The scenery and cinematography are excellent.
We should be very thankful that we can experience
nature without leaving our living room.

marcus welby
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Packed with information and incredible footage.
A valuable document of a rare environment that is disappearing fast.

Includes David Attenborough as narrator which, alone, makes it unbeatable!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Attenborough is Devine Jan. 14 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hope this man lives to be 300 and never stops making nature documentaries. This documentary meets the usual Attenborough high standards. You won't be disappointed.
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