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Planet Earth: The Complete Series (Special Edition) [6-Disc Blu-ray]

David Attenborough , Sigourney Weaver    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 99.90
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Planet Earth: The Complete Series (Special Edition) [6-Disc Blu-ray] + Frozen Planet: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] + Human Planet: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 79.97

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As of its release in early 2007, Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. Following the similarly monumental achievement of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, this astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, shallow seas, seasonal forests, etc.) until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. The premiere episode, "From Pole to Pole," serves as a primer for things to come, placing the entire series in proper context and giving a general overview of what to expect from each individual episode. Without being overtly political, the series maintains a consistent and subtle emphasis on the urgent need for ongoing conservation, best illustrated by the plight of polar bears whose very behavior is changing (to accommodate life-threatening changes in their fast-melting habitat) in the wake of global warming--a phenomenon that this series appropriately presents as scientific fact. With this harsh reality as subtext, the series proceeds to accentuate the positive, delivering a seemingly endless variety of natural wonders, from the spectacular mating displays of New Guinea's various birds of paradise to a rare encounter with Siberia's nearly-extinct Amur Leopards, of which only 30 remain in the wild.

That's just a hint of the marvels on display. Accompanied by majestic orchestral scores by George Fenton, every episode is packed with images so beautiful or so forcefully impressive (and so perfectly photographed by the BBC's tenacious high-definition camera crews) that you'll be rendered speechless by the splendor of it all. You'll see a seal struggling to out-maneuver a Great White Shark; swimming macaques in the Ganges delta; massive flocks of snow geese numbering in the hundreds of thousands; an awesome night-vision sequence of lions attacking an elephant; the Colugo (or "flying lemur"--not really a lemur!) of the Philippines; a hunting alliance of fish and snakes on Indonesia's magnificent coral reef; the bioluminescent "vampire squid" of the deep oceans... these are just a few of countless highlights, masterfully filmed from every conceivable angle, with frequent use of super-slow-motion and amazing motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography, and narrated by Attenborough with his trademark combination of observational wit and informative authority. The result is a hugely entertaining series that doesn't flinch from the predatory realities of nature (death is a constant presence, without being off-putting), and each episode ends with 10-minute "Planet Earth Diaries" (exclusive to this DVD set) that cover a specific aspect of production, like "Diving with Pirahnas" or "Into the Abyss" (the latter showing the rigors of filming the planet's most spectacular caves, including the last filming ever officially permitted in the "Chandelier Ballroom," a crystal-encrusted cavern found over a mile deep in New Mexico's treacherous Lechuguilla, the deepest cave in the continental United States.)

With so many of Earth's natural wonders on display, it's only fitting that the final DVD in this four-disc set is devoted to Planet Earth: The Future, a separate three-part series in which a global array of experts is assembled to discuss issues of conservation, protection of delicate ecosystems, and the socio-economic benefits of understanding nature as a commodity that returns trillions of dollars in value at no cost to Earth's human population. At a time when the multiple threats of global warming should be obvious to all, let's give Sir David the last word, from the closing of Planet Earth's final episode: "We can now destroy or we can cherish--the choice is ours." --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
By Torval Mork TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is hard to find a starting point in reviewing a film series that has set such a high standard of achievement. I frequently found myself pausing, rewinding and replaying multiple segments of each eposide, fascinated with the extent to which these expert filmmakers went to capture such amazing footage. What sets this "nature documentary" apart from all that have come before it is the expert utilization of a multitude of filmmaking tools reserved for big budget TV commercials, music videos and feature films. Examples can be seen right from the first episode, where the use of a motion control rig and time lapse photography shows the full, month long transition between seasons on the arctic tundra, and long distance, high speed lenses capture the frolicking of a polar bear and her cubs. The African wild dog hunt segment made use of a high-tech helicopter HD camera mount, formerly used exclusively by the military. Even small clips that take you into the next act are amazing, unparalleled photographic achievements.

Photographic and technical wizardry aside, the mandate of this series was to show the planet and it's non-human inhabitants as they've never been seen before. In this respect, the producer, Alistair Fothergill, and his team of hundreds have far exceeded their goal. This did not come about without putting in a mammoth amount of sweat equity. In watching the 10 minute diary segements after each episode, one sees the drive and determination of the crew, sometimes up to three years of hiking and filming, to capture a few minutes of rare footage. A previous reviewer has referenced the snow leopard and shark footage, I would like to add the pirhana feeding frenzy and stork migration over Mount Everest as truly awestriking segments as well.
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This version is with David March 29 2007
This is a great series; you will fill like never before when you watch the series. And don't worry because Sigourney Weaver, the narrator of the discovery's planet earth version in the USA, will not narrate this DVD set. This set will contain the original version with David Attenborough's narration. Is just an error of Amazon listing Weaver as the narrator in this set. I can confirm this because I have seen many sources that confirm this. The version with Weaver is on sale on the Discovery's store and it has a different cover. I hope you buy this set and not the discovery's because I have heard Weaver's narration and Attenborough's narration, and Weaver's is nothing compare to Attenborough's. I hope you enjoy this set as I did.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's the bonus material? July 14 2008
By Emmet
This series is outstanding. Great cinematography and just mind boggling natural beauty.
The only question I have is why does the product description mention a 5 disc set when the product image clearly states 4 disc set, like the one I own. Was there a re-release of this product?
Where is the fifth disc? Where are those 10 minute behind the scenes clips for each episode? I don't have any of that on mine. In fact my version is bare-bones episodes, no special features. For my first blue-ray purchase that's a little disappointing. My friend has the regular dvd's and they do have all the special features and extras...
Why would the blue-ray version have less?
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205 of 220 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This Version is Missing Content! Feb. 12 2008
A friend of mine showed me this series on DVD. I was so impressed I couldn't wait to purchase the Blu-Ray version and watch it at 1080p resolution. It turns out that not every scene is filmed in high definition, which is understandable given the conditions of some of the filming. What REALLY disappointed me about this version, however, is that much of the content is missing! The DVD version has a short documentary piece after each section that shows how the filming was done. This is actually some of the most interesting content. It's incredible, for example, how many days a photographer spent hiding in a blind to film a rare bird in the Amazon. When I got the Blu-Ray set I searched and searched but all this "making of" content is not included!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real documentary April 13 2007
This is what a documentary should be. A real documentary showcasing the wonders of this world, without any computer generated images or cheesy North American awful commentary (Make sure you get the David Attenborough original narration)

Worth it just for the images of the ellusive snow leopard alone
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
My brother owns the progressive scan quality DVD of this set and watching it on my component cabled DVD player it was astounding on my 42" LG LCD 1080p. I loved it so much I thought "I need to have this!", but decided why get it in DVD format when I can one up it and go for the blu-ray. I even bought a blu-ray player and HDMI cable just in preparation for this set.

WOW it looks incredible!...until you get to a lower light shot. Something has happened in the transfer to the blu-ray and added SEVERE amounts of dark dark blue (sometimes grey) grain to low light shots. Now I realize not "all" the camera work is done in HD, which is fine, but these scenes looks WORSE on blu-ray than on DVD, how does that happen? The caves episode shows it the worst, some scenes have literal snow on them like partially opaque white noise, and some scenes LITERALLY look like one of those 10yr old VHS tapes with a show recorded from TV look to them. I mean it is absolutely undeniable how horrid some of it looks.

There's forums all over the net complaining about this from up to 2 yrs ago it seems. No idea if it's just -some- of the blu-rays or all of them, not sure if the BBC will recall it or what. But I am truly sad that the DVD version overall looks better than the blu-ray. Nothing worse than sitting down to pure eye-candy (and educational to boot) and switching scenes and thinking "wow am I watching this on UHF?".

For those thinking it may be my setup it's not, I'm watching this on an LG50 42" 1080p using a Sharp Aquous Blu-ray player with the most up-to-date firmware tranferring on a 4' HDMI gold cable. Every blu-ray I have is fine, save for this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE
The first of it's kind. BBC touches on all aspects of nature's extremes and life's challenges in this series. An absolute must have.
Published 2 days ago by mark nusca
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
A beautiful documentary that shows many of the astonishing faces of our planet and Mother Nature. Very interesting to see the adventures of the team and all the challenges they... Read more
Published 15 days ago by AdaMaria Vasquez
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Awesome show's. Great quality on a good tv. BBC is the top dog when it comes to filming the world and all it's wonders.
Published 17 days ago by Jeff Hamm
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Scenery
we loved this series. From my young kids to adults, we were all taken in by the beauty and storyline of the animals. Beautiful scenery! Very well done. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tracy
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Series about Nature
Planet Earth is the best movie of nature I have ever seen in my life. I recommend it to all movie watchers, especially for families with kids. Read more
Published 1 month ago by AverageMan
5.0 out of 5 stars It was exactly what i was looking for.
I had heard about this and was pleased that I could purchase it at a lower price. The quality was right on and we are all very pleased with this item.
Published 1 month ago by mary jane phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have film
I have never had Goosebumps while watching a film before. It truly breathtaking. The only downside I felt worth mentioning is that my discs are in 720p Blu-ray format. Read more
Published 1 month ago by A man
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful
Amazing photography and interesting subjects. The explanations of the difficulties they had trying to film the animals at various locations was very interesting as well. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Lee Van Biesbrouck
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Love every DVD so far still have 4 to go the quality of the photography is unbeivable and the narrator is clear and interesting
Published 2 months ago by Lori Kamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great production
Excellent product. Got it as a gift, excellent production, even the packaging is a piece of art, beautiful! It is the type of gift that can be shared and enjoyed with others. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alejandra
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