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The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals
Actor: David Attenborough
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2003     8hr 20min

In ten parts, the award-winning David Attenborough (2002 Emmy winner for The Blue Planet: Seas of Life; The Life of Birds) introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on Earth, from the smallest - the t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: David Attenborough
Creators: Michael deGruy, Paul Atkins
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/13/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 8hr 20min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Both fantastic and a little dissapointing...
C. Moon | Valley Village, CA | 09/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I will not shirk Attenborough's knighthood. He certainly deserves the title, probably far more than a plenty of others. I can't pick a series of his that I haven't enjoyed, but having now watched this series through a couple times, I'm struck with a sense that I've seen all this before. And, well, maybe I have. Back in seventies, Attenborough and his team were given apparently limitless funds and some seven years or so to make the most amazing nature documentary possible--and they did. Life on Earth redefined the scope of what you could do with with a science program. It was something like the Citizen Kane of nature shows, covering the evolution of life on earth (all 3.5 billion years!) The only problem is what do you do for an encore...well, you do The Living Planet, Trials of Live, The Life of Birds, Life in the Freezer, Secret Life of Plants, etc. etc. And of course, The Life of Mammals. And not a one was I dissapointed with (though there are two I haven't seen yet), yet everyone felt a little lesser than the original 'Life on Earth'. At least with 'Life of Plants' he's mostly covering new material (and hence this is one of his stronger outings, but with Mammals, we have what is more or less a rehash of material already covered extensively in Life On Earth and Trials of Life (and probably Living Planet, but I haven't seen this one yet.)That isn't necessarily a bad thing since Sir Attenborough has all new equipment this time round, a gorgeous soundtrack and as always a top notch crew that is both talented and dedicated in their filming of animals from all over the world. The question however is if the new footage justifies a new series. And...well...I'm not really sure. I love owning these DVDs and I really enjoy watching them. They are extensively entertaining while in truth not really breaking any ground that David Attenborough didn't first break himself back in 1979.My final take is that if you haven't seen the older series, this is DEFINITELY worth it. It's absolutely a work of quality and we're lucky to get DVDs of these BBC releases. For fans of Attenborough's work however, this becomes a different matter. Side by side with 'life on earth', 'Mammals' feels rather vacant but still enjoyable."
Stupendously Good
S. Wilson | NYC | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This four disc, ten-episode series is probably the best nature documentary ever produced in DVD format. In fact, Life of Mammals is reason alone to buy a DVD player if you don't have one. Here are a few reasons why I think people should shell out the money for this set:- David Attenborough's enthusiasm for his work. Watching him respectfully approach a poor-sighted anteater from downwind or barely able to contain his delight when floating a few meters away from a blue whale, Attenborough's love for the animal world is totally infectious.- The images are of IMAX quality. This is one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen.- The soundtrack is top notch.- The Buffalo versus the Lions. This brief segment is mentioned in the Amazon reviewer's description - it has all the emotion and energy of the Cavalry Charge in 'The Return of the King.' It literally brought tears to my eyes.- Swimming Elephants. 'nuff said.- Kids love it. These films will keep kids (even as young as 2) quiet and totally absorbed in ways that no Blue or Builder Bob video can approach. - David keeps it light and entertaining. Each segment is short enough (40 minutes) and has plenty of amazing footage and humorous anecdotes so that it is nearly impossible to get bored of it all. Just don't watch more than one per day or you will spoil yourself.I give this series the highest recommendation. Even if you are not a nature buff (and chances are you will be after seeing this), it is certainly worth bringing into your home."
Excellent BBC nature documentary series...
P. Summersgill | San Rafael, CA USA | 06/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In my home, we're all big fans of nature documentaries, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, etc. We bought The Life of Mammals sight unseen after having enjoyed the entire Blue Planet series. My two year old loved Blue Planet so much that, while I hate to admit it, my wife and I were looking for something else for him to watch. By looking at Amazon's "customers who bought this also bought" area on Blue Planet, we've since acquired other BBC documentaries for the kids to watch - The Life of Birds and Walking with Dinosaurs.The Life of Mammals is a series of episodes, similar to Blue Planet. However, I will say that the footage, while excellent, is not nearly as spectacular as I found Blue Planet to be. I think that's the only reason The Life of Mammals gets 4 stars from me and not 5. Our son loves it just as much, so who am I to complain?The episodes in this series are as follows:A WINNING DESIGN - sort of an overview on mammals, their variety and why they thrive; features echidna, platypus (a favorite of our little boy), possum, kangaroos, and yapoks.INSECT HUNTERS - features some unbelievable aerial footage of bats catching bugs; the anteater and pangolin are also excellent.PLANT PREDATORS - our son's favorite episode largely due to giraffes and elephants; the picas and bison are also favorites, as well as a sequence about how African plant eaters deal with predators that consists mostly of runningCHISELLERS - mostly deals with rodents and other...well...vermin, including beavers, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, marmots, etc.MEAT EATERS - another favorite of my sons, mostly because of the lions and other cats - we were concerned that some of the predation scenes might be a little bloody for him, but that wasn't the case at all; the tiger footage is spectacularOPPORTUNISTS - can't say I enjoyed this one that much, as it features a lot of animals I consider to be pests; I will say that it gave me new insights into racoons and the rat scenes were incredible (although disgusting)RETURN TO THE WATER - featuring sea otters, seals, dolphins and whales, this episode is most similar in footage to Blue PlanetLIFE IN THE TREES - deals with the tree canopy as a distinct ecosystem, requiring specific skills to survive; features meercats, sun bears (the best climbing bear), fruit bats, loris, lemurs and gibbonsSOCIAL CLIMBERS - largely about primates, and how monkeys and apes have complex social structures; features uakaris, tamarin, guenons, macaques, and geladas.FOOD FOR THOUGHT - I hate to say it, but I think this is my least favorite episode because it seems to deal as much with people as it does with mammals. It is interesting, but I can't say that it has the same replay value as the rest of the series, particularly for our son.Throughout the series, David Attenborough is his stately, understated self. Unlike in Blue Planet, where he simply narrates, Attenborough makes appearances in this series. He's so scientific that sometimes, it's kind of funny - like when he narrates hedgehogs trying to mate in his back yard. Anyway, we found this entire series to be thoroughly enjoyable, educational and a treat for our son as well."
Get your own dvd now!
PB | San Francisco, CA | 11/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"By golly, buy the dvd right now and a dvd player too! This series is pure magic. Lot of thought went into the content - from spectacular visuals to awesome sound and content structure. Kids and grownups alike would love the visuals and knowledge and some deeper thought would reveal how intricate the web of life on this planet is and how threatened it is.

From deer like rodents in Patagonia whose activities seem to confuse a nearby burrowing owl (whose burrow the Maras had snatched) to a female Leopard sneaking into a rural village in India to steal domestic goats because its natural prey base was scarce. From bizarre (platypus), to large (whales), tiny (harvest mice), blind (golden mole), fast (cheetah), slow (sloth), to the ones that fly (bats) - this dvd covers the entire spectrum of mammals in stunning visuals and captivating narration.

David Attenborough is thorough and scientifically accurate. His screen presence is comforting and his lifetime of experience ensures that the content is seamless and exciting. I highly recommend this series for anyone.