A fat, ugly creature whose sole purpose in life is the pursuit of sexual gratification is rapidly taking over Australia! The Cane Toads were imported by the sackload from Hawaii to Australia in 1935 in an attempt to rid t... more »he country of the Greyback beetle, which was rapidly destroying their sugarcane crop. The Cane Toads adapted beautifully to their new surroundings. Problem was, the beetle could fly and the Cane Toad couldn't. What the Cane Toad is unusually good at, however, is making more Cane Toads--thousands upon thousands more. If Monty Python produced a National Geographic Special, it would be Cane Toads!« less
"Cane Toads: An Unnatural History does an excellent job of illustrating just what can (and often does) happen when humans attempt to alter nature without fully researching the possible outcome. I have been using this video for several years with the middle school life science class that I teach at an independent school in Topeka, Kansas. The students love it, and they learn some important lessons in regard to our natural world and the evolution of life on the planet Earth."
Cane toads will crack you up!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I show this video in my environmental classes and the students LOVE it!!! This is one of the cleverest, funniest natural history videos out there--I only wish there were more videos by the same writer/director. It's not really just for scientists either...there's something in there for everyone. I've shown this video to lots of people and have yet to meet someone who didn't love it. As the DVD cover says, this is what you'd get if Monty Python made National Geographic specials. It's a bit old and dated looking, but you'll hardly notice because you'll be laughing so hard. I wish it came with subtitles because the Aussie accent is sometimes hard to follow, so you have to listen closely.I know a few people commented on the raunchy or bizarre aspects of the video but there's nothing here that's not PG. In all, I recommend it highly! It's a delight."
This is the best movie i have ever seen in science class
a high schooler | Washington | 06/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay... We we're studying ecosystems in 9th grade biology. In the middle of class my teacher totally cracks up, and tells us that we are going to have fun in class the next day. So we all come into class the next day, and surprise!!! a video about cane toads!!! Of course we were all excited(not really, we thought the teacher had gone a little whacko) but 5 minutes into the movie, every person was laughing their head off! This is the best movie i have ever seen in any science class!!! (or any classroom for that matter) IT talked aobut how everything went wrong when the cane toads were introduced into Australia, and how they now cover most of the northern part of Australia. It interviews a lot of aussies (one who is now addicted to smoking the cane toad poison and one who enjoys watching them mate... you can imagine how those two went over in a class full of high school freshman) and several scientists (one describes their mating habits) This is a totally awesome movie that had my whole class laughing (including the teacher) and also had us a little grossed out (in a good way.) Definitely buy this movie if you want a good laugh...its worth the 20 bucks!"
HOPPING HIGH HUMOR
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 07/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the serious opening of "CANE TOADS" we are told that in the 1930s sugar cane was one of Australia's major exports, but in North Queensland farmers had a problem that threatened their crops -- the dreaded cane grub. In some places the devastating cane grub and beetle infestation reduced crop output ratio from about 1000 tons to less than one ton. Something had to be done. At the 1932 World Conference of Sugar Technology in Puerto Rico, entomologist Raquel Dexter suggested the Bufo Marinus -- or Cane Toad -- be imported from Hawaii. The idea was that it would eat the Greyback beetle, parent of the cane grub. In 1935, 102 of these amphibious immigrants were introduced to Australia. Problem was, the cane toads ate almost everything that moved -- except the underground cane grub and the voracious cane-eating flying parent beetle. One male and female toad couple can produce over 40,000 fertile eggs in a season. Today, grapefruit-sized cane toads dominate the northern half of Queensland. Writer and director Mark Lewis, who has cornered the market on twisted animal documentaries ("A Natural History of the Chicken, "Rat," and "Animalicious") has fashioned an unexpectedly quirky, esoteric and often hysterical film about a serious problem. Mixed in with the scientific information, much of it delivered by Monty Pythonesque but legitimate experts, are the common folk and farmers who are either devoted friends or avowed enemies of the notorious, sex-obsessed toad. Speaking of sexual obsession, you will see a love-struck male toad dodging cars to spend eight hours mating with a very dead-in-the-middle-of-the-road female. Much of the movie is cleverly photographed from the toads' point-of view. This is a great nature film that brilliantly underscores the dangers of well-intentioned humans tampering with the natural order of things. The catchy Aussie folk song "Cane Toads a Comin'" is still ringing in my ears. Also on the disc is "Signing Off," a bonus short film about an elderly New Zealand disc jockey's last day on the job. He has been let go since research indicates his program of nostalgia tunes literally no longer has any listeners. Oh, there is one old lady. And her simple request for a favorite tune essentially ends up destroying the station and the building. A zany, weirdly sentimental masterpiece of chaos and destruction. Both films highly recommended. Yes, you will laugh out loud."
Best thing EVER!
Tracy L. Scharbach | Seattle, WA USA | 10/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I took a class just for credit wherein the professor showed this movie to us on a day when she had other business to attend to. None of us thought anything of it at first. She had said we would all really enjoy it, but she really loves being a biologist and probably enjoys most documentaries. Much to our shock, this hilariously cheeky film starts rolling! I don't think I ever laughed so hard in a class before. This documentary is amazing, bizarre, and since it holds your attention so well with its hilarity, it's oddly informative and educational. Anyone who likes the quirkier side of life, needs to definately see this!"