Author: Martin Elsbury (editor)
Production/Bibliographic Information: AV/DVD. Disney Nature and Discovery Channel. 2009. 90 minutes.
Directed/ Performed by: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield (directors); James Earl Jones (narrator).
Part of a Series: Maybe- oceans is the second film released by the Disney Nature label (on Earth Day 2010); also released Crimson Wing- The Mystery of the Flamingo (straight to video); African Cats will be released Earth Day 2011.
Book tie-in: No- but this movie was made in part to preserve the legacy of Walt Disney, who believed nature provides the best plots and characters.
- Documentary films-video recordings (MLS)
- Humpback Whales
- Polar Bears
Plot Summary: This is a nature documentary that covers one year of life in the wild across various environments on the planet. The primary families chronicled are polar bears, elephants, and humpback whales, although the viewer meets many other animals along the way. Life and death, young animals’ early lessons, and facts about the environment and natural cycles are included.
Appeal: This movie covers a broad topic with compassion and some humor. It is visually stunning and musically compelling. The narrator sounds warm, inviting, and knowledgeable.
Features: The making of the movie bonus feature; optional English subtitles; optional Spanish and French audio and subtitles.
Prizes or Awards: BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)- Best Director- Factual (Nominated 2008); Bogey Awards, Germany (Won, 2008); Golden Screen, Germany (Won, 2008). *Info from IMDB.com
Similar Works: March of the Penguins, 2005, Warner Bros. (nature documentary film, one year in lives of penguins- Cyndi); An Inconvenient Truth, 2006, Lawrence Bender Productions (environmental documentary-IMDB.com); Great Migrations, 2010, National Geographic (television miniseries documentary featuring various animals-Cyndi); other Disney Nature documentaries (Cyndi).
Reviewer’s Name: Cyndi Selinger
Adapted from Saricks, Joyce G. and Nancy Brown. Readers= Advisory Service in the Public Library 2nd. Chicago: ALA, 1997.