I am a huge fan of documentaries, most especially when they are related to nature. I love to see creatures and places around the world that I might not otherwise see in my lifetime. In fact, most people won’t ever get to experience a trip to the Amazon or seeing Emperor Penguins on Antarctica in person.
I love most all creatures, great and small (I’m not a big fan of creepy crawly things :-)). From the tiniest field mouse to the gentle giants of the sea (whales), I enjoy all of Earth’s creatures.
One of my favorite animals is Polar Bears. They are also one of Earth’s creatures that are being most severely impacted by Global Warming. I have no doubt, sad to say, that in the next few decades the only Polar Bears that will remain will be those held in captivity at zoos around the world.
A documentary is being released by IMAX on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 called To the Arctic – A story of love, family and survival in the harshest place on Earth.
I was sent a free screener copy from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and the IMAX Corporation to review.
I have never seen a film in an IMAX theater before. We have one locally, but I’ve never been to it. After seeing this film I wish I had the opportunity to see it in the IMAX theater because I’m sure it would have been even more visually stunning than it was on my television set.
Here is the films synopsis;
An extraordinary journey to the top of the world, the documentary adventure To The Arctic reveals a compelling tale of survival. Narrated by Oscar® winner Meryl Streep, the film takes audiences into the lives of a mother polar bear and her twin seven-month-old cubs, as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home.
Captivating and intimate IMAX® footage brings audiences up-close and personal with this family’s struggle in a frigid environment of melting ice, immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and majestic snow-bound peaks.
To The Arctic is a co-presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, MacGillivray Freeman Films and IMAX Filmed Entertainment, presented by One World One Ocean.
I was in awe of this film when I saw it – and I only saw it on my regular television set. I cannot comprehend just how amazing it must have looked at the IMAX theater or on a 3D television.
I did receive the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, but I don’t have a 3D television so I could only watch it in 2D. Trust me, even in 2D the film is breathtaking. To be honest with you some of the scenes, especially the opening sequence with a massive ice shelf with several waterfalls flowing from it, almost didn’t look real. I originally thought it was computer generated. After the ice shelf showed up a few times in the film, at different angles, I realized it was real.
This film takes you up close and personal with various Arctic creatures including Polar Bears, Walrus and Caribou. The main stars of the film are a Polar Bear mother and her two beautiful cubs. Viewers follow them on their journey to find safety and food in a rapidly decreasing environment. The ice provides them with a home, shelter and food. Sadly the lack of ice due to Global Warming makes it very difficult for the mother to find food for her hungry children, as well as protect them from starving male Polar Bears who will stop at nothing to make one of them his next meal.
The film makers went to great lengths to get viewers up close to the animals. They used a robotic camera (which ended up being used as a play toy for the Polar Bears). Some camera men even braved the deadly cold water to take underwater footage of the Polar Bear and Walrus, providing you with a view rarely anyone gets to see.
Did you know that Polar Bears are excellent swimmers who only use their front paws to swim? When you watch them swim from underneath you can see that only their front paws move. I found that fascinating.
If you love Earth’s creatures, Polar Bears and the most beautiful scenery you will ever see, then you’ll enjoy the film To the Arctic. It’s visually stunning and truly amazing. The film runs for approximately 40 minutes, just enough time to keep the interest of little ones who tend to have short attention spans.
In addition to the film the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes several bonus features;
- Welcome to the Arctic
- A Polar Bear Family
- To the Arctic with Meryl Streep
- Life Under Water
- The Challenge of Filming in the Arctic
The DVD only contains the following special features:
- Welcome to the Arctic
- A Polar Bear Family
The bonus features are very short in length. I would have to say each one runs about 2-3 minutes in length. Even though they are very short I would recommend watching them if you have the opportunity. They help provide you with some extra footage and a behind-the-scenes look at the great lengths the filmmakers went to bring this film to life.
To the Arctic will be available for download from online digital retailers including iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon, Vudu and CinemaNow on March 26, 2013. The film is also available digitally in 3D VOD, High Definition (HD) VOD and Standard Definition (SD) VOD from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.
*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.