Discover the global event that promises to inspire viewers through captivating photography, the highest quality production values, the latest in high-definition technology and compelling stories that epitomize the heart of... more » a country and its people. China:Join rice farmers tilling the land their ancestors have worked for 18 centuries and explore the countryside where monks teach their 500-year-old discipline. You'll share in the Olympic dreams of a 12-year-old gymnast and learn about Shanghai's key development tycoon while exploring the country where tradition is meeting modernity in life behind the Great Wall. Italy: Witness six stories that weave the land of love, lineage, style and passion in the heart of Italy. From a jockey participating in the world's fastest horse race, to a former fisherman setting a free-diving record off Sicily's coast, to the Missoni family's fashion world and a Venetian gondolier's attempt to keep his family in his native city. Inhale and enjoy the spectacle and beauty that is Italy. Brazil: Learn the roles that history, geography, culture, religion and the natural environment have played in shaping one of the most fascinating countries in the world. This documentary showcases one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth, exploring stories from the Amazon to Sao Paulo's hair-raising helicopter commute. Australia: One of earth's youngest nations with one of its oldest indigenous populations, Australia is a land of contrasts. Discover a country that is a captivating mix of desolation and riches, from the harsh life of the outback to the welcoming, fertile lands of its coastline. South Africa: Explore the new democracy of South Africa--the Rainbow Nation--through the eyes of its people. Each and every citizen works to make this new country succeed and carry the hopes of future generations. France: France - a country where life itself is an art form. Food, drink, history and tradition are taken seriously. An explosives expert, a radical chef and a man who scales skyscrapers are among the people who share their country and what it means to be French. Japan: Both the modern and ancient are embraced in the glorious Land of the Rising Sun. An apprentice geisha, tuna fisherman, tattoo artist, and robot designers are among the characters that show the Japanese to be masters of the future and guardians of the past. Mexico: From the famous single cry, 'Viva Mexico!' that sweeps the country every Independence Day, to the spectacle and pageantry summoned by reverence for the Virgin of Guadalupe, Atlas Mexico Revealed is a journey into the heart of this amazing country. Egypt: Viewers will take an epic journey across the centuries, from the land of the Pharaohs, into the living soul of modern Egypt. From the rugged beauty of the Sahara desert to the languid waters of the Nile, explore the Islamic heart of a nation where the roots of Christianity still run deep. Russia: From the pomp and splendor of imperial St Petersburg to the ancient nomadic lifestyle of Siberian reindeer herders; from the unique beauty of Lake Baikal to the majestic volcanic ranges of the far east; from the peaceful banks of the river Don to the thriving nightlife of Moscow, we will experience and gauge the desires and aspirations of the inhabitants of this young democracy. India: Discovery India: One of the world's rising superpowers. A vast population and landmass, a weight of history and culture that stretches back for millennia. Meet the people that make this great nation."
Stills from Discovery Atlas (Click for larger image)« less
"I'm a big fan of this series, and I own the previous Blu-ray releases of the first 4 episodes. While this is called "The Complete Collection," it's far from it. The original discs I have are all around 100 mins, while the episodes on this set are all 43:35. More than half the original episodes are gone in these new trimmed versions (please note that some of these episodes were originally 2 hours, and some were 1 hour, so not all are drastically trimmed). I'm so disappointed in Discovery."
I thought this was the complete collection
William | Fort Worth, TX USA | 11/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I could not be more disappointed with this "collection". Then again, it shouldn't surprise me - previous DVD releases I have bought from Discovery are also trimmed from the original episodes. There are 11 episodes here, with a running time of just under 8 hours. China, Brazil, Italy and Austrailia were previously released on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and were 100 minutes a piece. You do not get those here - rather, these episodes are all trimmed down to 43 minutes, throwing out more than half the length of the original 4. I recommend purchasing them in addition to this "collection".
I am thrilled to see some of the other episodes - the only other two I had seen were Japan and Mexico, and these were previously unavailable.
Having 8 episodes on two discs does have its problem. I currently have it paused on a single frame to write this review of a sunrise over Africa. There are compression artifacts and color banding and macroblocking. Its sad - the previous Discovery Atlas releases were demo discs - this release leaves a lot to be desired.
The audio is not as dynamic on the Italy and China releases as the previous releases. Not sure what is up, but sounds like DVD audio as opposed to Blu-Ray. Quite disappointing. Also, unless I am mistaken, both of those episodes also have different narrators. I have not checked out the second disc yet.
I am quite disappointed with this set. The Discovery Atlas series is one of the greatest series ever produced, and to see them mutilated in this form is sad. I think Discovery should give everyone who purchased this copies of the full episodes free-of-charge. I would not be so upset, as it was only $30, except that this was advertised as the "Complete Collection".This is sad, sad, sad, and certainly false advertising."
NOT The Complete Collection!
Timothy K. Bryant | Chicago | 11/13/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with others. This is NOT the complete collection. Certain episodes have been trimmed dramatically in length. The standalone episodes that were released were much more involving and had way more material! Buyers BEWARE!!! Shame on you Discovery Channel!! Shame!!"
I should have known, but I didn't listen to myself
M. Chu | Boston, MA USA | 12/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was very excited when I saw that Discovery has released their Atlas series as a complete set. When I saw I could get a discount off from their store and get the blu-rays I immediately did it without listening to the voice in my head. It questioned how big was the box set gonna be since it had so many episodes. I remembered watching the first 4 episodes on HDTV and they were all 2hrs long. Blu-ray has more capacity, but it can't hold that many episodes per disc.
I was excited when the set came, but was confused by how it fitted in my mailbox and more confused when I saw only two discs. Nevertheless, I remained hopeful. Put the disc 1 in the player and while I was happy to be watching it, I decided to see how long was the China episode in total. It was only ~43 long, compared to the ~100 min from the on-air broadcast.
Discovery has severely shortened the episodes to a few key stories per country. I understand they did this probably to save on production cost as they fitted about 7 episodes on one disc, 5 on the 2nd, but I personally believe the cost was too great to sacrifice all the work placed into these episodes. It feels like the customer is being short-changed, not receiving as immersive an experience as the on-air versions were like.
Now for a person who hasn't watched the full versions, these episodes will do just fine. They cover the essences of each episode, so one wouldn't miss it if they never saw the full versions.
Overall, since this is the only way to get many of these episodes at a reasonable price, I would recommend this buy only for that. Know this through, should Discovery ever release the full length versions in a collectors box set, I will be selling this one and buying the new one in a heart-beat."
Beautiful, stunning series in HD; but the edits are deeply d
H. Kobler | 11/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To those complaining that this edition features edited versions of the shows, you're absolutely right! At least four episodes (Italy, Australia, Brazil and China) are heavily edited. I own the original disks for those, and they each clock in at over 100 minutes. But in this new compilation of all the episodes, they are only about 44 minutes long. I'm not sure if the second season episodes (Japan, Mexico, Egypt, etc.) were also edited down to 44 minutes, or if they originally aired at that length.
At any rate, it's horrible that Discovery is peddling half-episodes. The beauty of the Discovery Atlas series (beyond its stunning looks) is that it would really explore the lives of the country's inhabitants. You miss a lot of that depth when four or five storylines get truncated into 44 minutes..."