Not "Planet Earth" - but still amazing!
D. J. Nardi | Washington, DC | 06/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There will inevitably be comparisons between "Nature's Most Amazing Events" and Planet Earth. While I can't say that this new series is quite as groundbreaking, it is still pretty great and has some amazing footage.
As its title suggests, "Nature's Most Amazing Events" focuses on some of the most amazing events in the animal kingdom. I actually like the fact that each episode stays in one location (as opposed to the way Planet Earth jumped around the world). However, I thought it could have gone beyond Africa and North America. I also thought this series had some amazing footage of birds and whales, particularly of birds underwater. Those scenes alone make the series worth buying.
One note: I originally watched this series on the Discovery Channel. For some reason, Discovery used another narrator (Hasani Issa), not David Attenborough. As viewers of nature documentaries know, Attenborough's infectious enthusiasm makes his programs truly a joy to watch. As such, this DVD will be much better than the televised version for simply having Attenborough as the narrator.
Now, onto the episodes:
1) Arctic Summer:
This episode focuses on Arctic environments and includes many of the usual suspects, such as Polar Bears. There was a great scene with baby Gillymots learning to fly. The birds essentially jump off a huge cliff and try to land in the ocean. Many miss and bounce along the ground - but survive! This scene evoked the infamous scene in Planet Earth with the ducklings jumping out of the tree - but many times higher, with Arctic foxes waiting at the bottom to eat any unlucky baby Gillymots.
2) Grizzly Wilderness:
This episode follows the Salmon migration in the pacifc northwest - and all of the animals trying to eat them. There's some great shots of the Salmon swimming through the water. In one shot, a Salmon is swimming through a waterfall, jumps out of the water, and - in slow motion - flies toward the camera. There's also a cool scene of a dead Salmon decomposing in fast motion.
3) Surviving the Serengeti:
Unfortunately, there wasn't much new in this episode. It covers the wildebeest migration in East Africa. The wildebeest migration is certainly one of nature's most amazing events, but the Serengeti is also one of nature's most documented events.
4) Army of Predators:
This episode covers the army of predators that chase Sardines. I loved the footage of Gannets plunge-diving into the water to eat fish. The birds look like they're swimming underwater. I've seen some other documentaries trying to capture birds underwater (including Blue Planet: Seas of Life), but this scene was by far the best. The episode climaxes with a battle royale between Gannets, Dolphins, Fur Seals, Sharks, and Bryde's Whale all chasing the Sardines.
5) Kalahari Flood:
This episode focuses on southern Africa, with the drying up of the Okavango River in Botswana. The footage of the Termites up close looks great in HD. These scenes were even better quality than the Termite footage in Life in the Undergrowth. Also lots of elephants wallowing around.
6) Pacific Feast:
This is another underwater battle royale, with Stellar Sea Lions, Orcas, and Humpback Whales all going in for some Herring. This episode includes some of the best blu-ray footage of whales I've seen, with extensive footage of Humpbacks hunting using "bubble nets." The "whale song" that the Humpbacks use while "bubble netting" is haunting. After watching this, it is absolutely clear that these animals are intelligent - coordinating group action, using tools (bubbles), and taking advantage of the Herrings' weaknesses. There's also a great shot of a Humpback exhaling through its blowhole and catching a rainbow on its breath. The mist from the blowhole changes colors from blue to green to yellow to red. I can't describe what it looked like other than to say it was pretty amazing. This is easily some of the best Humpback footage ever.
In short, if you enjoy nature documentaries, don't miss out on "Nature's Most Amazing"! It has wonderful footage of birds underwater and whales. While there are some low points (notably the Serengeti), the best moments far exceed the ocean scenes in Planet Earth."
Lydia Atsma | Mt. Angel, OR USA | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of Blue Planet and Planet Earth. So when I saw this on the shelf, I snapped it up without any real thought.
I went home and put it on right away. I was blown away by the shear genius of the photography. It seriously rivals Planet Earth's photography.
It not only has amazing shots, but the stories that are told in each episode, are ones that you don't really see. It shows the life of a polar bear during an Artic Summer, the struggles a salmon endures during its upstream journey, the challenges a pride of lions face when their food migrates away from their territory, and more.
This is an amazing product that I reccomend for anyone who loves the Animal Kingdom."
Great Blu Ray / Lousy Packaging
B. Wong | SF, CA | 06/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like Planet Earth, this Nature's blu ray dvd set had fantastic shots and the narration is good. The aerial and panoramic views are spectacular. Like Planet Earth, some of the video is like sd. Overall I am giving the dvd set a 4 star rating.
Now to the lousy packaging. Well somebody had to do it again. The outside sleeve is standard cardboard with the standard information printed which is ok, but the inside container for the dvds is also cardboard, not the standard blu ray plastic container. The dvds slide in and out the slits on the cardboard container with difficulty. If you are not careful, you can scratch the dvds. Zero star rating here people; lets get with it."
Must watch this Dvd, it's amazing!
Annie B. | North York, Ontario. Canada | 07/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of sir David Attenborough, I own most of the dvds narrated by him until recently saw this one and I have to have it. It is really an amazing dvd, love it. You will learn so much about animals, plankton bloom, polar bear and the most amazing shot is the flood, how they managed to capture it happening before your eyes.... the title fits! It is Nature's most amazing events!"