Rating: Not Rated, but life is pretty harsh in this part of the world (read: you’ll see lots of animals of all levels of cuteness meet their end), so I’d probably recommend it to animal lovers over the age of ten.
Studio: BBC Earth
MSRP: $39.98, but Amazon has the three-disc blu-ray set for $27.99.
Running Time: 350 minutes
What’s Going On?
Narrated by naturalist David Attenborough, FROZEN PLANET examines life at the polar regions of the globe. From familiar animals like penguins and polar bears, artic wolves, seals, narwals and even a moth that is a caterpillar for fourteen years, there’s fascinating stuff here. Apart from examining the lives of the animals in these regions, there’s also a look at the impact that climate change is having on their lives and its potential impact on the world and their environment.
Who’s In It:
While David Attenborough narrates, life itself is really on display here, especially in high definition, where something as simple as seeing ice crystals form takes on a whole new level of intricacy and beauty and the Aurora Borealis is more magnificent than you could have ever imagined.
If You Like…:
Any of BBC Earth’s recent nature documentaries or thought that you would have liked less singing and dancing in HAPPY FEET, then check this out.
There’s quite a lot here. At the end of every episode there is a Freeze Frame, which looks at what the production went through filming that particular episode. For even more in-depth coverage, there are nearly fifty shorter production video diaries.
FROZEN PLANET: The Epic Journey is long enough to be an episode in its own right, and it’s basically a best-of episode, showing all sorts of highlights from throughout the series.
The special feature I liked the most was Science at the End of the Earth, which examines the lives of the scientists at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, which is located at the geographic South Pole. It looks at how life at the station is relatively normal even though their surroundings are incredibly harsh. There’s also a look at an annual ceremony that happens at the station in which the scientists come together to reposition the flag at the exact center of the South Pole, which moves slightly every year. However, there was no mention of the station’s annual viewings of THE THING and THE SHINING, which would have been awesome (Thank Wikipedia for that little nugget of knowledge).
The Technical Gist
Again, the footage here is absolutely breathtaking, as it has been on all of the BBC Earth documentaries. The kind of images that these crews are able to capture is unlike anything else, from penguins propelling themselves out of the water in super slow motion, to seals battling for supremacy, it’s all quite incredible and makes great use of blu-ray as a format.
BBC has done it again with another fantastic series that not only showcases stunning cinematography and an unparalleled look at our planet, but is uncompromising in its message about the importance of understanding climate change and the importance of conservation. BUY IT.