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  • Wild Asia: Island Magic (Discover Channel HD) [Blu-ray]
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Wild Asia: Island Magic (Discover Channel HD) [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Narrated
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Razor Digital Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2009
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002G4RD9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,858 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Asia is the continent of islands: at its southern limit alone there are some 30,000 islands dashed across the watery surface of the world. On these islands, freed from the certainties of continental life and powered by the magic of islands, species multiply and diversify.

The central characters of Island Magic are the leopard, a top predator; the monitor lizard, an opportunistic scavenger which could become a top predator; and the ubiquitous fig tree.

The story begins on the island of Java which, until the thaw that ended the last ice age, was part of the Asian continent. Island life is difficult for the mammals from the continent; elephants and tigers are already extinct while the Javan rhino teeters on the verge. On Java it is the leopard that writes the rules which shape the lives of the creatures lower down the food chain. A more benevolent but no less powerful influence is that of the Fig tree the tree of life in this part of Asia. Our animal characters gather at a fruiting fig tree; the leopard to find its favourite food young piglets and the monitor lizard to find what it can. Meanwhile, high in the tree, bats devour the figs.

It was fruit bats that carried fig seeds to one of Asia s newest islands, Anak Krakatoa, which erupted from the sea some forty kilometres west of Java in l930. Anak Krakatoa, like all the islands, is populated by an eccentric cast of chance arrivals. The first monitor lizard arrived on the island within 6 years of the eruption. With the leopard left behind on Java, the monitor has become the undisputed top predator, but with only 70 years of isolation, there has been little time for island magic to weave its spell.

North of Java is the island of Sulawesi which has been isolated for 30 million years. From the handful of mammals that have managed to breach its isolation, Sulawesi has produced more than a hundred new species, making it one of the world s most remarkable species factories. Most extraordinary of all are the seven distinct species of macaques which Sulawesi has created from the single founding species which rafted its way from Continental Asia millions of years ago.

If the Fig is the tree of life on Java and Anak Krakatoa, on Sulawesi it is the forest of life. Here there is a greater diversity of fig trees than anywhere else on earth, and the fig has played a part in fashioning the community of exotic creatures that inhabit the island.

The monitor lizard has found its way to Sulawesi and, here too, it is the island s top predator. But because it has always been able to come and go to other islands, has never been fully isolated and island magic has had no chance to work.

But on isolated islands at the edge of Asia one to the east of Sulawesi and the other to the south isolation and island magic have fashioned from the humble monitor lizard two remarkable creatures. On one, a tiny tree-living vegetarian lizard. On the other, the komodo dragon, the top predator and the leopard of its island. Such is the power of Island Magic.

About the Director


12th International Wildlife Film

Festival 2002, France, Wildlife Prize

16th Intl Nature And Environment

Film Fest 2001, France, Artistic Award

15th Sondrio Festival 2001, Italy, Stelvio National Park Award

Banff TV Festival 2001, Canada, Competition Finalist, Rockie Award & NHK Presidents Prize

Japan Wildlife Festival 2001, Japan, Asia/Oceania Award

International Wildlife Film Festival, 2001, Usa, Third Place For Best Animal Behaviour

International Wildlife Film Festival, 2001, USA, Merit Award for Footage, Low Impact Filming and Animal Behavior

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By C. Solomon on November 9, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Amazing photography.
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By Diamond Chen on July 29, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on October 28, 2009
Format: DVD
The emphasis in the title is "Island." This does not cover all of Asia. It focuses on Java and the islands near it. This work begins and then ends with the top of the food chain: leopards on some islands and lizards on others. I had always heard that animals become smaller the longer their species survive on islands; this documentary says that's true for some, but for others they do become larger.
The work shows diverse life: mammals, insects, reptiles, birds, and trees. It even includes a marsupial! The work shows one primate that is large and diurnal and then its relative that is small and nocturnal. The documentary is realistic by showing nocturnal animals moving around at night, but as a human with my limited vision, it was difficult to see those creatures. I wish they could have shown a drawing of them so that I could tell what they looked like. The work discusses a parasitic tree that strangles the tree it surrounds.
Figs seem to be what keeps all these island dwellers alive. (Personally, I don't like the figs that I've eaten, so it was different to see them as a food essential.) In the way that some fish have mouth closer to the ground, some parallel to their eyes, and some closer to the water surface, this work says some figs grow near leaves like typical fruit, some lie on the tree (I would say like acne), and some have figs that grow near the ground. Each fig had a different animal that spreads its seeds.
The work shows an island that just arose 70 years ago and then it shows the procession of animals that arrive there. It was almost like watching a genesis. The work said there are only 70 Javan rhinos left. I had heard that a species must have at least 150 members to survive, but this documentary never says whether that rhino is already doomed.
One critique I have is that the English captions show "it's" when the narrator means "its." Fire the staff member responsible for those typos!
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