Set in the vast snow kingdom at the top of the world, Arctic Tale is a real life adventure from the people who brought you March Of The Penguins. Join narrator Queen Latifah as she follows two very different arctic creatur... more »es, Nanu, the polar bear cub and Seela, the walrus pup, through exciting and harrowing struggles for survival. Armed only with their natural instincts and mothers? guidance, these inspiring animals face countless trials and challenges in a beautiful icebound world that is rapidly melting beneath them.« less
Michelle S. from TUCSON, AZ Reviewed on 3/30/2013...
I was disappointed in this movie. I thought it would be similar to "March of the Penguins," and instead it was a lot of animals killing other animals and hardships they suffered. I know this is real life, but we just did not care for it.
Cara F. (dichten) from PRT WASHINGTN, WI Reviewed on 12/8/2009...
A very good documentary concerning the lives of Nanu (a polar bear) and Seela (a walrus).
However, this is NOT a happy-go-lucky, warm-your-heart movie. This film shows what is happening to the animals of the Arctic. Due to the changing climate, winter is shorter. Ice freezes later and melts sooner, making it harder and harder for these animals to hunt and find food. Offspring are forced to leave their mothers sooner, again because enough sustenance cannot be found, and the repercussions of this can be deadly.
Because of these rising temperatures and its effect on the Arctic climate -- there will be no Arctic ice by 2040. If there is no ice, the animals which depend on it for their survival (ie, polar bears and walruses) will die.
This is fantastically educational, though heart-breaking.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ideal for children,but only mildly charming for adults:ARCTI
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 08/07/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a global warming film! It doesn't need to be. It is obvious what is happening. The Arctic is disappearing and a polar bear named Nanu and his childhood friend Seela the walrus are now coping with the fact that their world is disappearing. This National Geographic Film covers an eight year period in which Nanu and Seela grow up, play, love and struggle against the elements of changing nature. At times the film seems like a documentary, and at other times like a wild life adventure. The film is narrated by Queen Latifah (her rendering simply did not work for me at all...I wanted Morgan Freeman!). The story is very manipulative and definitely goes for the heartstrings of younger children. It is informative and sometimes enchanting, but as an adult I did feel a little bit used by this film. All in all, a one time view will suffice for adults. Children will like this one better."
Terrifically Tender, but Slightly Tainted 'Tale'
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 12/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"(3 1/2 *'s) `An Arctic Tale' is not exactly woven as neatly as `March of the Penguins'. Playful and at times cutesy-pie like the walrus pups and polar bear cubs presented, narrator Queen Latifah gives a comic edge to what might have been just another polar survivor adventure. Personification is a key component to the charm of her presentation, but this gets extended into the ending, which fails to stay with the story and becomes a springboard to a soapbox lecture at the end.
As with any National Geographic special, some of the cinematography ("principal" [their spelling] cinematographer, Adam Raveld) is awesome. Without a widescreen TV, I was thoroughly satisfied. The story is the tender and terrific rendition of one mother polar bear and her cub, Nanu, and one mother walrus and her pup, Selah. We see the lifecycle go from each of their births and follow their community adventures until each is old enough to become a mother herself.
As a G-rated venue, meant to enlighten and entertain, I think discerning information is needed for its potential audience. Just as the ice splits into two during an arctic summer solstice, the movie can have that kind of "polarizing" [sorry!] effect. Walking on thin ice, I'll try to be as fair as possible, nonetheless. Seeing the arctic creatures fend for themselves as their domain is melting more than previously, I knew one could discern an environmental message in layers just below the surface.
At the end we get children pleading for the audience to amend their lives to help save the characters in the movie. Now, I am split with a verdict of the ending. Part of me, having grown up in the seventies, likes the idea of conserving and sharing resources. Pollution and hording are not okay, and the specter of another energy crisis with garbage looming on the horizon is not part and parcel of my beliefs for a better future. On the other hand, I start to lose my sympathies when prodigy children lecture me that if I take two minutes less to shower, I will save the life of one of the polar bears. I think this is when everyone has a right to a claim of disservice. Conservatives get angry when they have been robbed of their "G" rated entertainment in favor of what they say is silly propaganda. Liberals also have a right to be equally offended for having their causes being brought to ineffective levels, bringing incredulity to the masses.
I think if you take the movie as it is, you will be well served by a beautiful and benign film. Just like people sometimes find it nauseating when you have a highlighter pen lecture like at the end of 'The Ultimate Gift,' people will find it more effective to let the story and stunning cinematography do all the work for them and let the adults do their own lecturing to their children. Maybe they could have taken their cues from 'Happy Feet' before them. Just as they seemed to emulate them with an environmental tale set to music, 'Arctic Tale' should have ended with its graphic "Green.nationalgeographic.org." In movies with the tug-of-war between show and tell, show should always win over tell."
Arctic Tale Review
J. Farkas | Orange County, CA USA | 01/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bought this to watch with my granddaughters and while it is a bit lengthy for the under 6 crowd, they stayed interested and enjoyed it. For adults, the photography is superb and it is also informative. Latifah does a grand job. I recommend it for everyone with grandchildren for fun and educational viewing together."
Homeschooling mom who loves to learn
K. Pooley | New York | 01/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was fantastic for our entire family. It did NOT have a political agenda, it was just stating what is actually happening in the arctic. I liked it and felt it helped to educate my children to the problems that are occurring. WE LOVE this movie and would recommend it to any family who wants something fun for the kids yet truthful and educational, the more we educate our children about how our planet is changing the better they will be to help it in their own generation."
An entertaining, inspiring and educational family film that
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 04/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An entertaining and educational family film that makes you wonder what further environmental changes will come to the Arctic and how it will affect animals years from now.
"ARCTIC TALE" is a film by filmmaking couple Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson which have been shooting footage of the Wild for over 15-years and trying to videotape and watch animals and mammals and observe their behavior and relationships in the Arctic. So, what better but to focus on two significant beings in the Arctic, the polar bears and the walruses, dramatizing the footage and putting a story to show people the effects of the environment on these two animals. The film is narrated by hip hop artist and actress Queen Latifah.
The film starts off with a female adult polar bear who gives birth to a baby girl which is named Nanu and her twin brother. Nanu is like her mother. Feisty and wanting to take charge, while her brother is the total opposite. Having been living in their little home in the ice for several months, it's time for the mother and babies to get some food. So, it's going to be a learning lesson for both polar bear twins as they learn from their mother on how to find their food and survive the Arctic.
Living alongside the polar bears are the walruses and for this storyline, the film focuses on a young walrus pup named Seela and her auntie. With walruses, their parents hold them while they are fed but in no time, she will learn how to get food in the Arctic but first she must learn how to survive the currents and the ice but also to be careful of the polar bears.
As the film showcases the survival challenges that these two young animals must face. You start to learn that these two are facing a different environment than their ancestors. The shorter winters, a warmer environment which is forming ice too late and ice that is melting too quickly is not benefiting the animals.
The polar bears can't easily hunt for their food and are restricted to a certain area. The walruses who typically stay in large sections of ice, are having a hard time finding homes and they try to avoid areas where they may get attacked by other animals.
So, with no easy access for the polar bears to travel and find their food, they must find food nearby. Part of the problem is that there are other polar bears, especially the male ones, who are very protective of their own space and food and will kill other polar bears if they try to get nearby.
The film then forwards to a few years later. For Nanu's mother, finding food is not going easily and the fact that she has to provide for their two children is going to be a challenge. Unfortunately, the lack of food through the short warm months becomes too difficult and Nanu's twin brother, weak because he's starved and has no strength, quickly succumbs to harsh weather.
With the difficulty of finding food for Nanu's mother and Nanu, the only way to survive is by separating from each other. So, Nanu's mother quickly drives her child off and thus Nanu is now forced to survive on her own.
As for Seela, she also goes through some major trouble of getting lost from her pack and being the target of male polar bears but also being swept under the current and being lost from her pack. So, Seela has her difficulties. Fortunately, she has her loving auntie who is there for her no matter what.
The film fast forwards several more years later with the young polar bear and walrus pup now eight years old. The environment continues to get worse and the climate is making life much more difficult for them and sure enough, for Nanu and Seela, their paths will cross.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"ARCTIC TALE" is a film that features 15 years of footage. Filmed by Adam Ravetch, the film is featured ala 1080p. Some scenes look absolute beautiful, while some that may appear to be stock footage and thus looks as if it has quite a bit of grain.
If anything, "ARCTIC TALE" leaves one in awe about the type of footage Ravetch and his wife Sarah were able to capture on film. From the various ice collapsing, breaking off to very closeup footage of the polar bears and walrus, even footage in their hole when they are hibernating. There is quite a bit of magnificent shots that the crew were able to get on film. But with that being said, there is a difference with looking at films of nature with lush greenery, its plants and flowers and colorful animals. In the Arctic, it's snow, gray skies and dark water. The only sign of color aside from whites, blacks and browns are the reds that you see in the walrus pups eyes and their mouths.
But nevertheless, "ARCTIC TALE" does feature breathtaking scenes in the Arctic but its not a film that you would expect to see plenty of vibrant colors.
As for audio, I have to say that "ARCTIC TALE" sounds incredible via Dolby TrueHD. I don't think I recall hearing sounds that caught my attention on DVD but on Blu-ray, the sounds of the ice breaking, the winds swirling and growls and noises by the polar bears and walruses really come out. And it comes out sounding very good on a 7.1 system. Of course, this is not an action film where you would hear your home theater system being put to the test audio-wise but the film does manage to feature a good variety of sound that just sounds great as it comes from your front and center channels but then hearing things behind you through the rears surrounds and the center rears.
As for subtitles, "ARCTIC TALE" features English SDH Subtitles , English Subtitles , French Dubbed & Subtitles , Portuguese Subtitles and Spanish Dubbed & Subtitled.
Special features included on the "ARCTIC TALE" Blu-ray are:
* Making Of Arctic Tale- This 24-minute special feature is a short behind-the-scenes featurette about the filming of "ARCTIC TALE" featuring Adam Ravetch and his wife Sarah Robertson. How Ravetch found Inuit people (primariy Pakiki Quamanik) from the town of Igloolik to assist him to film "ARCTIC TALE" but most importantly helping him locate a spot where they can find a newborn walrus. After four years of searching, the group found one. Most importantly, how he was given the opportunity by a walrus to allow him to film closely as she fed her pup. When filming the walrus, this is when they were approached by polar bears and from that point on, Ravetch wanted to go for broke and really risk his life in trying to get footage of a polar bear attacking a large group of walruses. Overall, an interesting featurette documenting Ravetch's adventures. * Are We There Yet? World Adventure: Polar Bear Spotting - A near seven minute special feature from the "Are We There Yet? World Adventure" TV Show with a segment as the child hosts go to Canada to get close to a polar bear. * Theatrical Trailer HD - The trailer for "Arctic Tale" in High Definition.
"ARCTIC TALE" was definitely an entertaining film. It's hard to classify the film as a documentary because it's a story trying to humanize the challenges that polar bears and walruses face in the arctic by making a film about birth to growing up and eventually becoming an adult.
And despite the film being about a polar bear cub and a walrus pup as they grow up, the footage is from 15-years of filming, so many different polar bears and walruses were shot in order to tell a story to tell about how the changing climate is causing problems and is hurting the animals in the Arctic. This is not a film that shows an actual single polar bear and walrus from birth to adulthood. Knowing the conditions and the risks the filmmakers put themselves through, not sure if that would have been possible.
As for parents who wonder if "ARCTIC TALE" is suitable for their children, I watched the film with my six-year-old son and of course, there were questions in regards to a death to an animal and of course, when polar bears and the walruses clash, because of the intense sound coming from your home theater, I know my son was a bit scared. But other than that, the film is family friendly and parents shouldn't have to worry about the content of the film.
"ARCTIC TALE" definitely has a positive message for children to learn from. Children will learn about how the climate affects the animals and of course, at the end of the film, children give tips on how people can help benefit the environment and possibly help these animals from the actions that they do in their own home.
Also, as many may have been surprised to hear Queen Latifah do the narration, in my opinion she did a great job and put some spunk into her narration. Having watched quite a few BBC-related nature driven shows and several films/documentaries about animals, it's good to hear something not always straightforward all the time. Queen Latifah has a calming voice but again, calm with a dash of spunk.
Having watched this film previously on DVD, I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the Blu-ray treatment especially when it came to audio. The Arctic really does come alive with the DTS-HD Master Audio track. The picture quality has plenty of beautiful moments that look great via 1080p but of course, considering the terrain of snow, sea and gray skies and polar bears and walruses, you're not going to expect plent of colors in this film. But nevertheless, the type of footage filmed and knowing through the special features how Ravetch and team really went all out and quite far just to get the footage is amazing.
Overall, "ARCTIC TALE" is a educational and fun family film. It's not exactly a film that is all happy but nevertheless, the goal was to make a family film but also educating the viewer on how the Arctic is changing quickly with the current climate.
If films about nature, the Arctic or watching polar bears and walruses interest you, then definitely check out "ARCTIC TALE" on Blu-ray!"