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Hidden Kingdoms (Original UK Version of Discovery's Mini Monsters) (2014)

Various , Various  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2014
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,100 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Hidden Kingdoms (DVD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Heroes come in all sizes" July 1, 2014
Narrated by Englishman Stephen Fry, and with a stirring musical score, Hidden Kingdoms is one of the most remarkable nature films I've ever seen. Think of the 1980s movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" but substitute small animals for the kids, and you get the idea. But this is real life drama in the animal kingdom, as the "actors" face life or death every day from natural disasters and hordes of predators.

In the first of three episodes, "Under Open Skies," the story follows two animals: an orphaned elephant shrew on the plains of Kenya and an adventurous young grasshopper mouse in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Both had to leave their homes in a neverending search for food. Facing dangers like grass fires and floods, they had to learn survival skills quickly, or they wouldn't last long.

"Secret Forests" is the second episode, which features a chipmunk in Quebec and a tree shrew in the Borneo jungle. The young chipmunk had to lay in a supply of acorns before winter came or it would face starvation, but a thieving neighbor was making that very difficult. In Borneo, the acrobatic tree shrew needed the fruits from a nearby tree, but animals like the orangutans had first dibs on the fruit, and there were plenty of others vying for the few leftovers.

The third and final episode in the series, "Urban Jungles," is about a young marmoset monkey in Rio de Janeiro, where the sprawling city has encroached on the adjacent jungle, and a rhinoceros beetle in the glitz and bright lights of Tokyo. The marmoset has been separated from his family, and without their support, he's on his own, trying to find food and avoid his worst urban enemy - cats.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars more like a sensationalised superhero movie September 7, 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
They took TOO many liberties making 'Composite' scenes, animals superimposed onto that of another. Not so much a documentary, more like a sensationalised superhero movie. Doesn't respect the subject matter like the documentaries with Attenborough. This is just awful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Those who give a poor review because the series is fake or unreal may be missing the premise. Certainly other nature series have videography that is more majestic and realistic, because they're shot from a jungle blind, or tree top, or safari vehicle, or helicopter. We humans see elephants as giants, but elephant shrews must certainly see us as giants. Haven't you ever wondered what and elephant looks like to an elephant shrew(now that's poetic) or other small animal. Relative to size, the shrew runs faster than a cheetah? -- now that's interesting.

The closest we've gotten prior to this show at seeing things the way small creatures see them is very occasionally with small stationary cameras at ground level or in burrows. Until we can mount unobtrusive, tiny cameras on animals and develop tremendous motion-stabilization software, it seems to me that this program and technology is the closest we'll get. Since small animals, as seen on their level, can seem almost cartoonish to us, music and narration with a lighthearted touch seems appropriate. Majestic, awestriking audio would seem wrong. It's also a nature film that certainly should appeal to youngsters and, with this country's (USA) woeful scientific illiteracy, any help to get kids interested is greatly appreciated. If you enjoy the program for what it's trying to do, it is fabulous, quite unique, and took a great deal of work with as little reliance on CGI as possible (see the "Making Of" supplement).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a delight! July 20, 2014
There are three programs, each dealing with two different creatures. Although the camera work is inevitably somewhat contrived it delivers an astonishing and lifelike result. I was less enamoured with the last program but the first two were an absolute feast. Stephen Fry is very different to David Attenborough but his measured and almost stately narration is crystal clear and beautifully spoken and in no way inferior to his predecessor. This disc is a gem.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally unreal and fake August 19, 2014
By Serrano
If like David Attenborough's and realistic documentaries this is not for you. Totally unreal and fake. The manipulation of the scenes is like watching a CGI movie, some image mixing gives sensation of watching a 60s movie...

I like Stephen Fry, but his narration is flat .... not emotion what so ever....

Extremely disappointing
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inauthentic, Cinematic Fakery. Not Recommended. August 13, 2014
I was very disappointed after purchasing and watching this film. The video is full of very obvious special effects, blue screen backgrounds, and silly noise effects. In general, it just felt very inauthentic.

Typically, I greatly enjoy BBC nature documentaries, but this one I was really put off by.

I feel that a nature documentary needs to maintain an ethic of authenticity, and not to "cheat" the viewer by manipulating the environment to such a degree as to rob the film of any authentic merit.

The narration by Stephen Fry was great, as I expected, but the film itself was not, in my opinion, worthy of his talents.

I do not recommend this film to anyone who appreciates serious, true-to-life nature films.

As for any upside to the film, it would probably be entertaining for young children, who might appreciate the silly sound effects and perhaps won't notice the blatant cinematic fakery.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The kids love it! They paid attention and learned quite a ...
I ordered this for my 5/6th grade classroom. The kids love it! They paid attention and learned quite a bit from it. Being located in bush AK, it was quite the experience!
Published 17 days ago by AKmeg
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent video for the whole family!
I am an animal lover and like to learn about animals I don't normally see since I'm not a world traveler. So this dvd is very interesting and very well videoed. Read more
Published 21 days ago by D. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
Young and old will enjoy this view at the smaller wonders of the wildlife world presented with a humorous bent.
Published 26 days ago by dragon lady
1.0 out of 5 stars Teeny Weeny Things
Narration is dull and boring. Subject matter is not my cup of tea. I like to see and hear larger animals rather than teeny ones and bugs. That's just me.
Published 1 month ago by Duffer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Our favorite family nature film so far
My six year old son loves this series. There are some scenes of action and peril for the small animals (as is a part of nature) but nothing to intense for him. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shawn A Lodico
4.0 out of 5 stars this documentary was excellent and well presented... about critters we...
this documentary was excellent about the critters we don't see or hear much about..... probably because they are so small... Read more
Published 1 month ago by MOVIEJUNKY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this was awesome
Published 2 months ago by Xuezhi J.
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully put together.
great camera work and great quality. really got to know the animals featured better.
Published 3 months ago by aadil ali
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot and entertaining
Hidden Kingdom is about the small animals that are normally are not stars in shows or books. We get to learn about tiny creatures like elephant shrews and grasshopper mice, giant... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ali Julia
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