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Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages (2007)

David Attenborough  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages + Nature: Birds of the Gods + Birds of Paradise: Revealing the World's Most Extraordinary Birds
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Attenborough
  • Writers: David Attenborough
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 367 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R7I4A4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 6 episodes over 2 discs

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages (Dbl DVD)

The only thing more wonderful than David Attenborough's life as a naturalist is his peerless ability to share his enthusiasms with the rest of the world. As a priceless yet reasonably priced compilation of Attenborough's "personal best" culled from decades of BBC television, Attenborough in Paradise is a perfect companion set to the immensely popular 2007 series Planet Earth. It combines seven of Attenborough's most engaging hour-long programs to convey the sense of wonder and amazement that has made Attenborough one of the most beloved figures in the history of broadcasting.

The two-disc set places understandable emphasis on more recent (and therefore more technically impressive) programs, beginning on disc 1 with "Attenborough in Paradise," a 1996 segment of The Natural World series, in which Attenborough travels into the deep jungles of New Guinea to witness the magnificent birds of paradise. The sights and sounds of these glorious creatures is something few people can experience in the wild, so this program should be considered a treasure of exceptional wildlife filmmaking. In the equally extraordinary 1971 program "A Blank on the Map," Attenborough and his tenacious film crew travel on foot, with Australian cartographer/explorer Laurie Bragg, into an unmapped mountain region of central New Guinea, culminating in an astonishing encounter with Biami villagers who had never before interacted with white explorers from the civilized world. (Attenborough's philosophy regarding the delicacy of such encounters should be considered an essential lesson for all humankind.) In the 2000 program "The Lost Gods of Easter Island," Attenborough explores the history of a strange, elongated wooden figure he purchased at auction some 10 years earlier. His curiosity takes him (and us) backwards in time to the 18th-century exploration of Easter Island, where an understanding of ancient Polynesian beliefs reveals the identity, purpose, and symbolic significance of the carved artifact that prompted Attenborough's inquisitive adventure.

Disc 2 begins with a 2000 segment of the Natural World series titled "Bowerbirds: The Art of Seduction," and it's one of the most entertaining programs of Attenborough's career. In the Australian rain forests and the jungles of New Guinea, Attenborough studies the entire family of Bowerbirds, whose remarkably meticulous sculptures, structures, and decorations represent the only example in nature (outside of humankind) of creatures that attract mates through the creation of beautiful works of art. In "The Song of the Earth" (also from 2000), Attenborough investigates the history and purpose of musical communication in the natural world, studying humpback whale song, bird song, and human singing in an effort to demonstrate how man-made music is quite likely to be rooted in evolutionary behaviors of survival, territorial defense and sexual attraction. In the 2002 special "Life on Air," Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin hosts a wonderful tribute to Attenborough's career as a naturalist and BBC programming director responsible for much of the BBC's finest TV productions, including the seminal series Civilization and The Ascent of Man. Full of humor and adventure, this memorable hour will surely stand as the best-ever appreciation of Attenborough's life and work, with a veritable treasure of interviews and archival film clips, frequently poking good-natured fun at Attenborough's oft-imitated style of on-screen presentation.

Finally, in "The Amber Time Machine" (a 1994 segment of The Natural World), Attenborough uses another personal artifact--a piece of ancient amber given to him by a young girl at the age of 12--to inspire an in-depth study of amber's unique preservation, in exacting detail, of insects, tree-leaves, and even lizards from tens of millions of years in the prehistoric past. The tantalizing fiction of Jurassic Park is summarily debunked by scientific experts (conclusion: ancient DNA from amber is too fragmented to re-create any extinct species through genetic engineering), but the exploratory potential of amber remains, as Attenborough characteristically engages his own curiosity to turn his treasured heirloom into a tiny world of surprising revelations. Through all seven of these marvelous programs, it's easy to see why Attenborough has retained his childlike sense of wonder: His delight in the natural world is quite literally the life force that keeps him going where few have ever been, sharing the wide, wonderful world he sees with the infectious enthusiasm of someone for whom every day brings a new opportunity for exploration or adventure, no matter how modest or grand. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's impossible to surpass the exceptionally well done full description of this release on the Amazon site here. The best thing is, it's not only comprehensive, discussing each of the films, but well-written. I'll stick to a simple review of the product as found.

If you do not have this material, or most of it, from previously issued DVDs this is a great offer. The two DVDs contain about as much bang for your buck as possible for lovers of Nature programing. The only quibble I have is that the quality of film varies a bit more than suggested in the product summary above. Too, with more exposure to the brilliance of today's HD, earlier films, even those only a few years old, look less and less wonderful, and more and more dated. The double sword of technology - our world now can be seen in even greater spell-binding cinematography, but our previous efforts lose their original luster. However, with these films the charming and intelligent storylines add an additional dimension often lacking in such documentaries. Indeed, these are about as varied and splendid a group as anyone could wish. Certain sequences remain priceless.
And if you're a bird watcher and don't have these films on the Birds of Paradise or the Bowerbirds this is your DVD!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta have it October 19, 2007
This may not be as top-notch as "Life of Birds," but it's a worthy addition to the David Attenborough section of your video library. Exciting footage of exotic birds with eccentric behavior. Trips to Easter Island and unexplored sections of Papua New Guinea. Best of all, a smart narrator who knows when to shut up and when to speak. What more could you want? Recommended without reservation of any kind.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genius! January 14, 2008
By J. King
Practically everyone who loves Planet Earth doesn't know who David Attenborough is! What a tragedy. The fact that Sigorney Weaver narrated the Discovery Channel broadcast is obscene. Sir Attenborough is a genius of his time and we are lucky to have his talent available to us. This dvd is a tribute to him and a treat for us. Lots of previously hard to get documentaries and a biography are worth it and then some! If you love nature documentaries this is the ticket!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent buy January 7, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love David Attenborough's work and this DVD contains some of his early documentaries. It's a great one to add to your collection as they are well made even in the days before $10 million budgets were a matter of course.
The segments on the Birds of Paradise and meeting the Tribesmen in New Guinea alone are worth the price of this collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Video, Bad Discs March 2, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Warning about this 2-disk DVD set: I've ordered this item twice from Amazon recently (1Q13) and in both cases Disc1 of the set is defective. It is not recognized nor playable on any of my various DVD and Blu-Ray players...not a region problem but an I/O error. Bad batch? Bad master? So 5 stars for content times 1/2 playable is 2.5 stars. Amazon...?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attenborough is Amazing October 31, 2007
By Dijon
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is for ALL fans of Sir David Attenborough and his great nature specials. We're all familiar with The Blue Planet series, Planet Earth & Life of Mammals to name a few, but this one takes us back to Attenborough's beginnngs. It contains 4 specials on: Birds of Paradise, a musing on the theories of music and its origins, treasures found in amber and best of all a history of Sir David's beginnings in nature specials and the BBC. What makes this man so special is not only his great knowledge but his ebullient enthusiasm and crisp narration. Personally, I can't wait til his next project.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great show but low quality DVD June 16, 2010
By TimG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was a fantastic program when I first watched it many years ago. Was thrilled to find a copy of it on DVD. Very disappointed in its quality, wonder why a better resolution could not have been produced, it doesn't even seem to be up to 240P but appears to just have been copied from an old tape. Too bad, as the images of these birds and their activities is second to no other program I have seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Piece of Attenborough Magic July 18, 2008
By Holly
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you have seen Attenborough's classic, "The Private Life of Plants," (not yet available on DVD for our region!) you will surely enjoy this--another example of cinematic mastery in filming wildlife. Very appropriate and much enjoyed by elementary school students with delays in reading and language. The visual simply captivates them!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching David is a key to Paradise
Anytime we want to renew our inspiration for serving conservation and to observe a genuine passion for nature, we put on David Attenborough. He is a living treasure of our time.
Published 1 month ago by P. J. Inglet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Carl N. Sidle
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the Attenborough DVDs, this is my favorite.
I watch several of the episodes regularly, falling down laughing at the Bower Birds, as well as enjoying the magnificent displays of the Birds of Paradise. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sandra Kramer
1.0 out of 5 stars does not play
We ordered three different sets and on each the first DVD did not work. To bad since this is something we really want in our collection.
Published 6 months ago by A. Mills
1.0 out of 5 stars disc damaged?
Because disc #2 works fine. But disc#1 doesn't work at all. And now I have to send it back.not happy!
Published 7 months ago by Tracey smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Content but Disc One is flawed and will not play
Amazon, please take care of the problem with disc one not playing, by contacting your distributor.. You replaced my defective disc, but I had the same problem with the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Janice Keith
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective Discs
Defective discs. Cannot view much of disc 1. Content is wonderful so this is a big disappointment. We love David Attenborough.
Published 8 months ago by Audrey McCarthy
1.0 out of 5 stars These disc sets are flawed, in both instances we ordered and received...
These disc sets are flawed, in both instances we ordered and received sets with disc one of two flawed, worthless as a set.
Published 9 months ago by Solarsouls
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir David Attenborough, need I say more?
Sir David is a treasure to the world. If you love his programs you must add this DVD to your collection!
Published 10 months ago by Solitaryb
1.0 out of 5 stars review Attenborough in Paradise
I had to return the tape as it never worked. Even the replacemnet had the same problem and had tobe replaced. Very poor.
Published 10 months ago by none
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