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
This was probably the best purchase I ever made on amazon. I'd recommend it to anybody.. especially families with children.Published on Jan. 30 2001 by Shekhar Scindia
This movie will be one of the cults of natural geographic's. The subjects differ from dancers to insects. I think everybody can find something about himself in this dvd. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2000 by gmumcu@hotmail