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Hidden Kingdoms (Original UK Version of Discovery's Mini Monsters) (BD) [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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(Jul 08, 2014)
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Editorial Reviews

Gain access to the secret worlds of some of Earth's smallest creatures in this spellbinding new natural history program! When you are less than a foot tall, raindrops fall like meteorites and a breeze feels like a tornado! The challenges these tiny yet adorable creatures face are exceptional and their enemies gigantic... but their solutions are ingenious. Prepare to be amazed, entertained and fascinated by our planet's Hidden Kingdoms. It's time for the little guys to take center stage! This release features the full-length UK episodes. Airing on DISCOVERY CHANNEL as Mini Monsters on May 31, 2014.

Special Features

Mike Gunton Introduces Hidden KingdomsCreating the Shot: CompositingCreating the Shot: The Grasshopper MouseCreating the Score Extended Scene: The Sengi CleaningStoryboarding the Beetles

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00JFH8GMI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
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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Comment 23 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: Blu-ray
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 centipedes and chipmunks. In total there are 3 episodes that feature close to 100 different species.

Hidden Kingdom combines real animals and special effects (composite images, CGI creations, slow-mo, special lighting effects) to tell the story. I thought it was beautifully done, my husband thought special effects were a bit overdone. We both enjoyed it.

Each episode of the show is followed by "how this was done" segment and I enjoyed learning about behind the scenes information as well. It is not a documentary, so if you are looking for a documentary you might be disappointed. But I thought it was beautifully shot and entertaining.

I received a review copy of the DVD with a request for an honest unbiased review.

Ali Julia review
Comment 6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
I just had to write a review to counter the nitwits who gave this one star. Don't listen to them. They're the people you don't want to get stuck talking to at a cocktail party.

Hidden Kingdoms is spectacularly well-made, remarkably entertaining, and surprisingly informative. (Probably in that order.) I watch a lot of nature documentaries, and while this one may be tough to classify (a trait that appears to inexplicably enrage a few people) it is absolutely a must-see. And while perhaps no David Attenborough, Stephen Fry's involvement in the project should -- and does -- lend it some gravitas.

But don't watch it for academic reasons. Watch it because it's thoroughly enjoyable and visually spectacular. And ignore those who feign some kind of elitist outrage. Because that's absurd.
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Format: Blu-ray
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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Hidden Kingdoms (Original UK Version of Discovery's Mini Monsters) (BD) [Blu-ray]
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