Disneynature: Wings of Life [Blu-ray + DVD]
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From Disneynature, the studio that brought you EARTH, OCEANS, AFRICAN CATS and CHIMPANZEE, comes WINGS OF LIFE -- a stunning adventure full of intrigue, drama and mesmerizing beauty. Narrated by Meryl Streep, this intimate and unprecedented look at butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, bats and flowers is a celebration of life, as a third of the world's food supply depends on these incredible -- and increasingly threatened -- creatures. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, WINGS OF LIFE utilizes riveting high-speed, closer-than-close filmmaking techniques to showcase in spectacular detail these unsung heroes of our planet.
Disneynature, le studio qui nous a offert TERRE, OCÉANS, FÉLINS D'AFRIQUE et CHIMPANZÉS, présente LES AILES DE LA VIE, une merveilleuse aventure d'une beauté éblouissante regorgeant de moments trépidants et dramatiques. Ce portrait intime et sans précédent des papillons, colibris, abeilles, chauves-souris et fleurs célèbre la vie elle-même, puisque le tiers de l'alimentation mondiale dépend de ces créatures incroyables et pourtant de plus en plus menacées. Réalisé par le cinéaste acclamé Louie Schwartzberg, LES AILES DE LA VIE fait appel à des techniques de ralenti extrême et de très gros plans fascinants afin de montrer en détail et de façon spectaculaire l'?uvre de ces héros méconnus de notre planète.
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I was so blown away by the ability of the camera's to get close enough to capture the images that it did with such clarity and vibrant color. I have never seen the detail of a bee's face or the pattern of a butterfly's wings so close up before. Learning about pollination and seeing it up close and personal is something my kids would never get to experience like this.
Narrated by a flower, we are taught the importance of the flower in nature and how it impacts all living things. I learned so much science and even history from watching this. My three and five year olds were glued to the TV and I really thought they would lose interest once they saw it wasn't a cartoon. Instead they asked me all kinds of questions about what they were learning. It was like a huge science lesson.
Paige has always been intrigued by Hummingbirds so she loved the section learning about them. Reed really loved the bats and thought their long tongues reaching into the flowers was the funniest thing ever. I didn't expect them to be so entertained by an educational movie.
From the incredible visual appeal to the dynamic accompanying music and the soothing voice of the narrator, it is an all around unforgettable experience.
The magnificence of Wings of Life is something you have to experience for yourself because I can't even begin to do it justice.
The latest is called Wings of Life, a title that barely encompasses the depth of what you experience in this brilliant film, shot in razor-sharp clarity, even when capturing microscopic miracles.
The title implies birds, but the story is about insects and flowers. Narrator Meryl Streep's words are those of the plants, trees and flowers, explaining in first person how they all interact with each other.
"One might imagine that the most important life forms are large or flashy or smart," narrates Streep, "But it is love among the little things that runs the vast machinery of life." How true this is. (read my review of Lincoln for this same concept on a human level, as applied to the muckety-mucks and the folks in the trenches).
From bees to bats, hummingbirds to beetles (Paul is the cute one), the creatures are part of a spectacular spectrum of survival, balance and innate skill.
To me, the stars of the film are butterflies. There is one sequence in which what appears to be milliions of butterflies burst from trees and settle in the grasses. It must be seen to be believed.
None of this is done with CG or special effects, yet it is every bit as astonishing as a megablockbuster movie -- albeit with a soothing, ethereal tone, due in no small part to Streep, whose superb narration comes as no surprise to those of us who love her recording of The Velveteen Rabbit with pianist/composer George Winston.
No extras to speak of, unfortunately, since seeing how this was filmed would be fascinating. No matter, the color and majesty makes Wings of Life like a naturalistic Fantasia.
Now about "Wings of Life" - I pretty much knew from the start that I was going to love it, being a butterfly fan, but I had no idea how much I would truly LOVE it. The images you see in this movie go beyond impressive and into the realm of unbelievable and surreal. The picture quality is better than my wildest imaginations.
Streep's narrative is crisp and neat, much better than Tim Allen's work on Chimpanzee, and a pleasure to listen to. There is a good deal of education in here, as well as occasional storylines more geared for the youngsters. If you think Butterflies and Hummingbirds aren't interesting enough to fill a full-length documentary, prepare to humbled by this masterpiece. Of course there are plenty of other exciting critters along the way.
OVERALL: Another A+++ release from DisneyNature. I only wish that it had been released in theaters (IMAX would be amazing) and that there were more bonus features on the BD (the only supplement is an exciting preview of "Bears," their next documentary). I am very, very satisfied. This is something you're going to want to watch over and over again.