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62 Reviews
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, compelling nature documentary from National Geographic.
I have been a fan of Nat Geo's nature documentaries since the days when Richard Kiley narrated them on PBS, and I have many nature docs on Blu Ray, but even though I have only watched the first episode of this excellent series I would rank it in the top 5 of my collection. Picture quality is excellent as is AQ. Some of this animal behavior has been seen before, but it...
Published on November 17, 2010 by Matthew Karns

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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brillianly photographed but the editing is another matter
The picture, sound and photography are quite outstanding, but the editing ruins it for me. Unlike the BBC nature studies, where stories are presented in a logical time frame, NG have chosen to offer their stories chopped up into mini cocktail bites in an ad-hoc fashion. This is intensely irritating as one is just getting interested in an animal's struggle when the scene...
Published on January 2, 2011 by John Chandler


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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brillianly photographed but the editing is another matter, January 2, 2011
By 
John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: National Geographic: Great Migrations [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The picture, sound and photography are quite outstanding, but the editing ruins it for me. Unlike the BBC nature studies, where stories are presented in a logical time frame, NG have chosen to offer their stories chopped up into mini cocktail bites in an ad-hoc fashion. This is intensely irritating as one is just getting interested in an animal's struggle when the scene suddenly jumps somewhere completely different. There is no way to view the whole event, one must just wait for the next bit to pop up somewhere else later. Crocs attacking the unfotunate wildebeest for example probably turn up a dozen times throughout the programs and never do we get a full and continuous report on this.

The narration is not well written in my view and is not helped by a somewhat pompous presentation. The credits are another oddity: so speedy they cannot be read without frequently using the pause button. There is no point at all to offer data like this.

This a deeply disappointing release. So beautifully photgraphed but so stupidly put together. I strongly suggest renting or watch it on your local NG channel before buying. If you can stomach this hodge podge of wild life cocktail sticks then go for it.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, compelling nature documentary from National Geographic., November 17, 2010
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This review is from: National Geographic: Great Migrations [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have been a fan of Nat Geo's nature documentaries since the days when Richard Kiley narrated them on PBS, and I have many nature docs on Blu Ray, but even though I have only watched the first episode of this excellent series I would rank it in the top 5 of my collection. Picture quality is excellent as is AQ. Some of this animal behavior has been seen before, but it is presented in a very compelling way with excellent narrative spoken by Alec Baldwin, who also does the "Planet Carnivore" narration for Nat Geo Wild channel. I rate my experience watching nature blu rays by the "Wow" factor, that is, how many times did I say "wow" while watching and in the first episode it was at least 5 times, which is good. I am very much looking forward to viewing the remaining episodes and the behind the scenes pieces as well. I would highly recommend this blu ray to anyone who loves nature documentaries, it is really excellent.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch documentary, November 15, 2010
This review is from: National Geographic: Great Migrations [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Reviewers: if you love this series, please add your review to bump up the lousy and rather inappropriate comment of the two-star rater. This is NOT a BBC rehash, it's a National Geographic documentary that focuses on the perils and hazards of the migrations of a variety of wildlife, from tiny to huge. While a Mare river crossing might be just that, each one is different and dramatic and most definitely traumatic for the faint-at-heart. It's nature in all its glory and brutality, and it shows how humans have added to the dangers with our ever hungry encroachment on migration routes that have existed for thousands upon thousands of years.

I highly recommend this well made, excellently filmed documentary.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing Photography, November 18, 2010
This review is from: National Geographic: Great Migrations [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This documentary mini-series is far from an arrangement of footage seen in popular series Planet Earth and Life. As an owner of not only those two series, but also several other BBC Earth productions I was hesitant to give this a shot. It not only didn't disappoint but instead left me thrilled with the beauty of the footage. The presentation is maybe slightly overdramatized in comparison with that seen in some of the BBC documentaries, however the photography is as breathtaking as anything shown in those series. Alec Baldwin is an adequate narrator.

Bottom line, this is a must-own for any nature lover.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious!, November 19, 2010
By 
Evelyn Gajowski (Henderson, NV United States) - See all my reviews
Glorious! Absolutely stunning photography. National Geographic does it again. This is a very moving series that brings home the preciousness of life on this planet through the very real day-to-day struggles of many different species -- mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc. -- in many different climates and wildlife habitats. One cannot view this series without gaining increased respect for the other creatures with whom homo sapiens shares the planet. I'm buying it for everyone on my Christmas shopping list.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see epic nature film. Beautiful., November 30, 2010
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This is top shelf natural history film making at its best. I highly recommend it as a gift for any nature lover. The footage is jaw-dropping- see it in hi-def if you can! The technology used in making this series is cutting edge, including super high-speed (phantom) technology and amazing macro for close ups. There is a lot to learn here- if you look at the web site, you'll see that NatGeo consulted with some top migration scientists. In the end, the power and grace of the animals will leave the most lasting impression.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely mind-boggling, November 21, 2010
This series is absolutely breathtaking. We have the Planet Earth complilation as well, and love both collections. Rating this beautiful glimpse of nature a "2" is just ridiculous. Perhaps if that reviewer watched the "Behind the Scenes" portion of the series and realized all the work that the dedicated, talented staff put into making this gem they might change their mind. We HIGHLY recommend this series and will be purchasing several as Christmas gifts. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Builds appreciation for the sacrifices required to get nature footage, October 15, 2011
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I was truly impressed at the incredible lengths the film crews went to in order to reach and capture the footage that I enjoy so much. This behind the scenes video is an eye-opening experience that generates intense respect for the photographers who regularly risk their lives to "get the shot". Throughout this footage there are many instances where people, individuals or even entire crews, almost die. Normally we do not see or hear about the struggles that these people face. That blindness to their sacrifices can lead to an overly critical spirit as we try to "armchair quarterback" their work.

This behind the scenes video was a brilliant and visceral look into the lives of the crew taking the footage, and contains many very candid moments that drive home the reality of what they are trying to do. As a Christian I know that many other Christians may not appreciate the bleeped out profanity often caught on camera, but these are real people facing dangerous situations. These people have emotions and are being pushed past the breaking point in many cases. Most of us cannot imagine the fear of not being able to find our way back home, the aggravation of getting repeatedly stuck in a war-torn land that no one knows how to navigate, or the frustration of waiting all day every day for almost a month to shoot a single hunting sequence.

These expeditions are very expensive, and the photographers risk both their lives and reputations on each excursion. What happens if they do not get the shots? How will they handle unforeseen circumstances that threaten to block their efforts? These are legitimate questions that we often overlook. These folks do not pick their shots from a catalog. They risk everything in an attempt to capture a single moment in time that is only hoped for, and cannot be guaranteed. Consider for a moment how much faith and hope that takes.

On behalf of everyone who appreciates good nature photography, I thank the crews for risking their lives and making such painful sacrifices to get this footage for us. While I strongly disagree with some of National Geographic's philosophies, I do enjoy many of the materials they produce. I am excited to see the actual Migrations video after watching this, and believe that knowing more about these people and their hardships will greatly enhance the viewing experience. We are very spoiled and blessed to have this footage captured for all time.

I would like to make some closing comments about the reviewer who had a nervous breakdown over the wildebeest baby being attacked by a crocodile. First, the baby is not being eaten in the footage. It is being dragged away. The sequence is longer in the behind-the-scenes footage than the actual Migrations film. Though sad, it is not graphic, and my four-year old daughter watched it just fine. I shelter my children carefully from PG and above materials, but allow them to see moderate nature scenes. My kids are under no delusions about how nature works, its dangers, or hardships. In my opinion nature is the best place for young children to begin experiencing and understanding the cycle of life and death that perpetually occurs in our world, regardless of whether you are a Christian or Atheist. The inability to cope with that cycle is what produces hysterical reviews such as that.

A generation is being raised to believe that it can save the planet, which is the wrong terminology. Children can be taught to maintain and restore the planet, but not to save it. That bad philosophy behind the idea that any person can "save" the planet is what creates nightmares for the reviewer who is unable to cope with a situation in nature that he or she is unable to change. Good photography does not intervene in nature, it captures it as it really is so that we can think through the sometimes painful ramifications of why the natural world exists in this state. Many people have devoted their entire lives to the pondering of philosophical and theological questions based on what is evidenced by nature, and that is only possible by a complete evaluation.

It is a great injustice to the photographers to ask that they not film what they see. These people arrive at the location and capture reality on film. It is up to each of us to interpret the meaning of it. I am thankful that they provided this extra footage in the Behind the Scenes video for my family to see, and hope that other viewers will not be discouraged from watching this amazing film because of one misplaced and greatly exaggerated review.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great photography, but theme and narration fall short, December 8, 2010
I really enjoyed watching the images throughout the documentary, but from the start two things bothered me. First, the paused and dramatic narration style does not reach the standard expected for this kind of show. Second, as an ecologist, I was surprised with the approach taken by the director. True migrations involve long distance movement of animals from one place to another and the return to the starting point, as is the case of the monarch butterflies. However, several cases shown in the documentary do not match the concept of migration, and should be treated as simple dispersal.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The pungent aroma of hope", April 27, 2011
The footage and music are stunning, but the narration is painful. After listening for ten minutes I tried in vain for a setting to turn it off, but unfortunately this option is unavailable.

Alec Baldwin's voice is sufferable (albeit not the best choice) but the script is just terrible. "The pungent aroma of hope." What.

Rather than pepper the facts with occasional poetic notes the script is laden with unnecessary metaphor and personification. Many of these don't make much sense. It's as if someone went a little crazy with the synonyms tool on Word e.g. describing a migratory destination as an "inferno" would have sat better with me if the zebra were scaling a volcano, but this "inferno" was a dry salt lake. Hot no doubt... but still.
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National Geographic: Great Migrations [Blu-ray]
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