This spectacular IMAX documentary has been meticulously transferred to provide one of the most stunning DVDs available, with image quality so vivid that it seems almost three-dimensional. Of course, it doesn't hurt that ... more »the images themselves are amazing, consisting of some of the finest nature cinematography you're ever likely to see, following a year of seasonal change in the "circle of life" of East Africa's Serengeti plain. Photographed entirely on location in Kenya and Tanzania, the 40-minute film chronicles a natural phenomenon that few humans are privileged to witness in their lifetime: the annual great migration, during which over two million wildebeests, zebras, and antelope travel 500 miles across the plain to ensure their survival. It's an awesome display of natural wonders, and of course there's danger as well as beauty, with lions, crocodiles, and cheetahs among the predators of migrating wildlife. The images range from wondrous to horrifying to hilarious, forming a portrait of life and death that remains powerful even after repeated viewings. The DVD is truly intended for a global audience, with eight optional audio tracks in English (narrated by James Earl Jones), Bavarian, French, Castilian, Catalan, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin. --Jeff Shannon« less
Randal A. (Movieran) from SATELLITE BCH, FL Reviewed on 10/9/2010...
Timeless. A documentary worth keeping
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Below National Geographic quality
T. Yurek | Foster City, California USA | 10/18/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you have seen any of the many National Geographic titles on African
wildlife, you may find that IMax's Serengeti leaves a lot to be desired in
terms of story telling, focus on wildlife and scientific knowledge. IMax
movies are shot on larger than normal film to achieve very high resolution
and smoother color transitions which will only be noticable when projected
on giant movie screens. When the film is transferred to DVD and viewed
on your much more inferior and small TV (as compared to projected film),
all of the IMax advantage is totally lost. This goes for all IMax titles.
If you only want to see random scenes from animal life in the Serengeti,
you might like it. Otherwise, first consider the many National Geographic
titles about African wildlife (even on VHS) some of which have won awards."
The Serengeti miracle
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary of the vast Serengeti which spans from Tanzania to Kenya is a visual feast, and follows the incredible migration of the million wildebeest and several thousand zebra that journey from the dust of the southern drought to the vegetation in the northern regions. Along the way they pass by many predators, with some of the herd falling prey to them. We also see many diverse species of the area, among them a baboon community, the majestic beauty of a herd of elephants, and many scenes of maternal love that are endearing, even with the ungainly and massive black rhino.
We see a hungry cheetah dash after a gazelle, the lions at play and as rulers of the plains, visit with the handsome Masai tribe, and view the incredible vistas from a hot air balloon. The most memorable scene in the film is on the wildebeest's return to the south, where they must get across a river flooded by the rain. The crocodiles lie in wait for this event, and many from the herd also perish from exhaustion. The size and scope of this river crossing makes it an image one will never forget. The cinematography by Andrew Kitzanuk is spectacular, and makes this one of the best documentaries I have seen for sheer viewing spectacle on the subject of African wildlife.
Written, directed and produced by George Cassey, the emphasis is on the poetry of the land, rather than a long list of facts and figures. Narrated by James Earl Jones, his sonorous voice is always easy on the ears, as he says things like "Life streams across a land suspended in time." Also nice to listen to is the lovely score by Hans Zimmer and George Cadebe, which includes some haunting vocals. Recommended viewing for any animal and nature enthusiast, the total running time is 39 minutes. "
Simply the BEST!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently travelled to Africa and bought this video prior to leaving. Not only is the video completly accurate in its portrayal of the magical Serengeti, but the cinematography is excellent. In addition, children just LOVE it! My 3 year old neice couldn't stop watching it. Disney is nothing compared to this video! I recommend it highly!!"
A moving look at the "Circle of Life"
Alejandra Vernon | 05/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My 3-year-old enjoys this almost as much as I do. As someone who has always dreamed of going on safari one day, my reverence for the wildlife of Africa has been taken to new heights with this film. Yes, it's only 40 minutes or so but it's a perfect example of Quality over quantity. The film is exquisite from beginning to end and the music, combined with James Earl Jones' perfect voice, makes for a spine-tingling journey. I've owned the film for just under 2 weeks and have watched it at least 5 times. It is stunning! The migration of the animals is an amazing story and I was particularly moved by the final "scene". Again, the music and narration tie the beautiful photography together wonderfully. I am so happy to have found it and am buying several copies for friends and my parents..."
J. Marshall | Chicago | 12/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How could you go wrong with James Earl Jones doing the narration? I have the standard version of this disc. It was one of the earliest to transfer to dvd. It came in a cd size case (eventually the size of the case was enlarged to prevent confusion with cds). Having both versions made it possible to do a comparison. What a difference the high definition (Blue Ray) version makes. It's like night and day. The HD version is much sharper, clearer and colorful, just what you would expect from the new HD format. I wanted to toss the sd version in the trash but I'll keep it to show folks the difference between HD and SD movies.
The sd version had so much LFE (bass) that I had to turn the sub down quite a bit. In fact, it has too much LFE. The Blue Ray disc has a much appreciated toned down version. As far as the movie goes, it does an excellent job of showing the great migration of animals in Africa. I am a big fan of "nature documentaries." and this is one of the best. It is not too long or too short but when I get into a good documentary such as this, I always wish it wouldn't end."