The Crimson Wing (Disneynature, 2010)
Good for more than just prettying up Christopher Cross album covers, the flamingo is a fascinating creature that rarely gets its documentary due — but all that has changed with Disneynature’s The Crimson Wing. Don’t believe flamingos can hold your attention for 78 minutes? Turn on your hi-def set and prepare to get pink.
Synopsis: Discover one of nature’s last great mysteries in The Crimson Wing, a miraculous story of love, courage and survival from Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth. In a place like no other on the planet, the dramatic and desolate Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, you’ll witness a spectacle unlike anything you’ve seen before: a million crimson-winged flamingos arrive to continue the circle of life. Focusing on the adventures of a single chick set against a backdrop of never-before-filmed landscapes, The Crimson Wing is a visually stunning journey into the life and struggles of the mysterious and inspiring flamingo. Continue reading
Oceans (Disneynature, 2010)
We seem to be living in an unusually prolific time for nature documentaries — I think this is the third underwater doc I’ve reviewed for Dadnabbit in the past year or so — but who’s complaining? We know next to nothing about the world around us, particularly the ocean, and between filmmaking innovations and the advent of hi-def home theaters, exploring the planet from the comfort of your couch is more fun than ever. For their follow-up to Earth, Disneynature decided to plunge into the sea with directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, and the movie they fished out — the appropriately titled Oceans — is another worthy addition to your HD wildlife collection.
Synopsis: Disneynature, the studio that presented the record-breaking film Earth, now brings Oceans to the screen. Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and Oceans boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind –exploring the playful splendor and the harsh reality of the weird and wonderful creatures that live within. Featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, Oceans offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful yet enchanting motion picture. Continue reading
Remember when DVD players were mostly a luxury for the home theater crowd, and pretty much anyone who bought one also picked up a copy of Twister to test his system’s limits? Well, it certainly isn’t an audio/CGI workout on that level, but Disney’s Earth is so stunningly gorgeous that it might be the first true “gotta have it” purchase for Blu-ray owners. Yes, it’s just another nature documentary — and in an age when you can switch on Discovery Channel HD at almost any hour and see something that takes your breath away — but…wow. Just wow.
Disney took some heat for the way Earth was assembled, and perhaps rightly so; it’s basically a boiled-down version of the BBC’s mammoth Planet Earth series, and though it uses some footage that wasn’t aired on the show, it’s still mostly reheated goods. But nobody wants to watch seven and a half hours of anything in a theater, and this is Disney — they’re aiming Earth at kids, whose attention spans are built for the film’s 90-minute length. This is actually one of the first projects from the studio’s new Disneynature banner, intended to expose the Disney demographic to the sights and sounds of the world around us, which is awfully hard to complain about. Even if you were enthralled by Planet Earth during its TV run, in other words, don’t be so quick to write off Earth as its shrimpier cousin; in any house with kids, it’s got a charm all its own. Continue reading