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National Geographic: Predators at War
National Geographic Predators at War
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2005     1hr 37min

Follow Africa's five mega-predators as they struggle for survival in a cruel season of deprivation on South Africa's Mala Mala Reserve. To survive they must compete for the same resources using every physical and psycholog...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: National Geographic Video
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/15/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Outstanding, one of the most impressive predator documentary
Adolfo R. Arizpe Paz | Monterrey, Mexico | 02/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw it on NGC before the release on DVD, and I ordered several copies since I thought it is a wonderful gift.
The scenes are very well selected so that it matches perfectly with the narration. If you are looking for battles between large African predators this is it! But watch out, scenes are tough and loaded with the natural cruelty that characterizes the terrible survival fight in animal life. Basic instincts."
An Amazing Documentary!
Adam Inglis | MA | 09/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I myself am very interested in African Wildlife, and Africa can be a rather unforgiving place. This Documentary is very well done in the way it presents everything. It revolves around a long drought that happened at the Mala Mala Game Reserve in Africa, and is centered around five Main Predators. A Pride of Lions, A Clan of Spotted Hyenas, A Lone Leopard, Cheetahs and African Wild Dogs. It portrays what happens when water is scarce, and food is hard to find. These five predators constantley have to fight for food with each other, which leads to some amazing confrontations, hence the name Predators at War.
It is very well narrated and shows some amazing footage, One of my favorite parts is when several female Lions, A Hyena, and A Leopard are all fighting for the same meal, its tense! Its also very graphic and portrays the true nature of these beasts in Hard Times, so its not the best for the Kids. Its my favorite Animal Documentary and that's why it deserves a perfect Five."
Amazing footage showing harshness and beauty of nature
J. Teel | Tucson, AZ USA | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Normally, I very much dislike animal documentaries that have human military type themes which is quite common on NGC. From the title this sounds like another ignorant stereotypical NGC doc that tries to explain animal behavior in human (military)terms. However, this doc actually is quite appropriately named and it truely is a story of predators at war for survival. I've never seen such amazing footage showing the harsh interaction of so many predators. The scene where the leopard, lions, and hyenaes are all fighting over the same kill in and out of a tree is absolutely beyond words. The conclusion is unlike anything I've ever seen and you will quickly understand why lions don't like to climb trees.

I saw this on cable last night and can't quit thinking about it and immediately ordered it. I watch ALOT of nature shows and this ranks near the top (Life of Mammals is still #1).

For those that say this isn't appropriate for children are projecting human emotions in a judgemental way onto nature. Nature is what it is and children should see this. This isn't human violence and there's no reason to shelter your children from the reality, harshness and beauty of nature. It is our preconceived notions of nature that need to change and not nature itself."
Excellent documentary marred by gimmicks
Warren J. Dew | Somerville, MA USA | 06/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is not a video about normal interactions between predators. Rather, this is a video about predators under stress. Drought has hit the Mala Mala game reserve, and two rainy seasons have passed with little or no rain. Food is scarce, and the competition between the predators is becoming more and more fierce.

The normal enmity between lions and hyenas, never quiet in the best of times, is intensified. Both lions and hyenas steal prey cached in trees by leopards, hyenas leaping from the ground, and lions climbing to dangerous heights. Lightly built cheetahs, who normally abandon their prey at the slightest opposition, instead defend it. Wild dogs and vultures also vie for their share. Increased competition means more confrontation - and more violence.

Third generation game warden Kim Wolhuter captures the action on film. There is no lack of dramatic moments, whether during hunts, or during the sometimes fatal fights over carcasses that follow. The video does not flinch from showing the details - details which, while sometimes gruesome, nonetheless illuminate the underlying ecological dynamic. Wolhuter's occasional commentary helps explain how the drought is affecting the animals' behavior, making them more aggressive and less predictable.

Unfortunately, the producers saw fit to jazz up an already good video with questionable metaphors and sometimes inappropriate special effects. The narration pushes military similes too far - lions, while powerful, are not armored like tanks. The visualization of the animals' musculature is useful, but the visualizations of the animals as mechanical robots is at best gimmicky. The special effects used for the lion's roar could be misleading, and the sequence on hyenas hearing the sounds of a lion kill seem to have no bearing on reality.

If you're already familiar with how these predators normally behave, and you can filter out the sometimes overdone narration and special effects, this video is worth buying. If you just want some gory entertainment, it may even be perfect. On the other hand, if you think the gimmicks will bother you, you may want to look for an alternative. If you don't mind VHS, National Geographic: Africa's Stolen River documents another drought in another part of Africa without the gimmicks. If this is your first video on African wildlife, you might want to consider National Geographic Video: Africa's Animal Oasis on VHS, or the Joubert's classic National Geographic: Eternal Enemies - Lions and Hyenas on DVD."