This 40-minute documentary was one of the first commercially released DVDs. It should serve as a welcome introduction for those who are interested in but know little about the tropical rainforest and the process of deforestation. The script, however, provides little in the way of concrete information regarding the images on screen at any given time. The intended effect appears to be poetic (à la Henry David Thoreau), but the narration tends to veer toward the New Age. This could prove frustrating for those who would like to know exactly what species of plant or animal is being featured and what makes it unique to the rainforest. Further, indigenous peoples and their relationship to the world's rainforests is not explored.
The documentary is narrated by actor Geoffrey Holder (Ray the Sun from Bear in the Big Blue House), who has a deep voice with a pleasant tone, somewhat akin to that of James Earl Jones. His thick Trinidad accent, however, can be somewhat hard to understand despite the clear diction. A couple of scientists provide supplementary narration, but it is not sufficiently clear who they are or what their relationship is to the rainforest. The film ends with a fitting musical number, "Mbube (Wimoweh) (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" by the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. --Kathleen Fennessy