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National Geo.:30 Years of Nat.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau , Dian Fossey    VHS Tape
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Mystery, danger, splendor, adventure. Since 1964, National Geographic has been broadcasting television specials that created and, many would argue, still maintain the standard for all nature programming since. Vigilantly focusing on what came before human beings, this special is a grand slam of 30 years (1964-1994) of painstaking exploration and documentation. Its narrative sounds almost biblical: "In the beginning..." there was molten lava. The footage is, as you would expect, dazzling but it is the agile editing and well-crafted storytelling here that makes this video into a poignant success.

Moving from the creation of earth to its inhabitants, the narrative segues to the single law of survival. In the Living Sands of Namib (1978), a spider escapes a predator by cartwheeling down a dune. There are clips of Costa Rican lizards sprinting on water, a woodpecker outsmarting a corn snake, and an Indian tiger begrudgingly retrieving his deer-carcass supper from a thieving crocodile. Procreation is, undoubtedly, the more lighthearted side of survival. Three black beetles are in pursuit of a female running in the sand with a musical score so perfectly selected, it is as if the they are engaged in a well-choreographed dance. The synchronized swimming of mating squids in Jewels of the Caribbean (1994) is more graceful than Twyla Thwarp.

After an introduction to the habitat and behavior of so many creatures, the video turns the spotlight on the tool user, fire tamer, language maker: humankind. Americans on Everest (1964), Dr. Leakey and the Dawn of Man (1966), The World of Jacques Yves Cousteau (1966), In the Shadow of Vesuvius (1987), Australia's Twilight of the Dreamtime (1988), and Jane Goodall: My Life with the Chimpanzees (1990) are classic examples of National Geographic at its best. There are also fascinating clips from early Geographic projects, including the 1917 Katmai expedition.

Well beyond serving as a self-congratulatory slap on the back for work well done, this special has an important message: the animals and natural phenoms we fear the most are those we know the least about. Contrary to popular belief, humans are the largest single threat to all life on earth. By bringing fragile ecosystems into our living rooms, National Geographic hopes to instill conservation ethics in each viewer. --Cristina Del Sesto

Product Description

For three decades, National Geographic has set the standard for spellbinding television documentaries of exploration and discovery. Now you can experience these landmark adventures into the unknown in this collector's video. Join the first American expedition as they conquer Everest, enter an undersea world of danger and beauty with Jacques-Ives Cousteau, and observe the historic discovery of fossils of our earliest ancestors with Louis and Mary Leakey. Witness National Geographic filmmakers as they capture the mystery and wonder of wildlife around the world, joining scientists like Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall to reveal never-before-seen animal behavior. From the delicate rhythms of the natural world to the many faces of human culture, 30 YEARS OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION chronicles a visual saga of humankind's quest for knowledge.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, but it doesn't matter Aug. 15 2003
Format:DVD
With 30 years of some of the best documentaries around to choose material from, it scarcely matters that there is no new footage. The narration seamlessly bridges the gaps between the various shorts from National Geographic specials of the past. I wasn't sure what to expect, since it is essentially teasers of other films, but this is a great film in its own right.
We got the film for our little boys, and they've loved it from day one. My older son is learning a lot about the differing relationships of the natural world, and the broad expanse of this film is perfect for him. It never gets bogged down in the mundane, but it also panders to a long attention span. This is a big difference from the National Geographic videos intended specifically for kids. They tend to be the same basic idea...cut footage from older films, but cut so that there is no footage of animals eating each other, no mating, and it is interspersed with unneccesary music videos and cutesy animation. Even with Dudley Moore's narration, it can't compete. Skip the kid stuff and give your kids the real thing.
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By RHK
Format:VHS Tape
This video definitely holds up to repeat viewing. It offers a wealth of information on a wide variety of subjects and could easily have been an hour longer.
National Geographic really hit the mark with this video. Although it's a promotional tool, it stands on its own merits as an educational, entertaining, family video.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Immense educational value, absolutely delightful Jan. 30 2001
Format:DVD
This was probably the best purchase I ever made on amazon. I'd recommend it to anybody.. especially families with children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creme de la creme! Oct. 26 2000
Format:DVD
If you buy this DVD, you'll end up owning a lot more National Geographic Videos. And that's a good thing!
Sure, it a teaser. And there is no new material. It's a compilation made out of the best of their other movies. All their movies are good, so this one is the creme de la creme!
One new thing that this film does do...is drive home the point what an incredible organization they have been over the years...and how wonderful their films have been. As I watchd the movies, the voices of the narrators, particularly Jaques Cousteau, brings back memories of watching these films as a child.
And there are some crazy and totally memorable scenes...the little lizard running across the water...the spider and the tarantula...the lions...the elepahants....I could go on and on.
You'll love it...go ahead, buy it...you'll cherish it!
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