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Winged Migration (Special Edition)

507 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Rolling Stone raved that Winged Migration, the critically acclaimed, awe-inspiring documentary, is A movie miracle! It soars! You feel privileged! Witness as five film crews follow a rich variety ofbird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents. With teams totalling more than 450 people, 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers used planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to fly alongside, above, below and in front of their subjects. The result is a film of staggering beautythat Entertainment Weekly hailed as Mesmerizing! and the Los Angeles Times applauded as Breathtaking! As lofty as it is exhilarating! Open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world as you flyalong with the world's most gorgeous birds through areas.


For earthbound humans, Winged Migration is as close as any of us will get to sharing the sky with our fine feathered friends. It's as if French director Jacques Perrin and his international crew of dedicated filmmakers had been given a full-access pass by Mother Nature herself, with the complete "cooperation" of countless species of migrating birds, all answering to eons of migratory instinct. The film is utterly simple in purpose, with minimal narration and on-screen titles to identify the wondrous varieties of flying wildlife, but its visceral effect is humbling, awesome and magnificently profound. Technically, Perrin surpasses the achievement of his earlier film Microcosmos (which did for insects what this film does for birds), and apart from a few digital skyscapes for poetic effect, this astonishing film uses no special effects whatsoever, with soaring, seemingly miraculous camera work that blesses the viewer with, quite literally, a bird's-eye view. A brief but important hunting scene may upset sensitive viewers and children, but doesn't stop Winged Migration from being essential all-ages viewing. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Making-of documentary
  • "Creating the Music" featurette
  • Photo gallery with filmmaker commentary
  • In-depth filmmaker interviews

Product Details

  • Actors: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro
  • Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats
  • Writers: Jacques Perrin, Francis Roux, Guy Jarry, Jean Dorst, Stéphane Durand
  • Producers: Jacques Perrin, Andrea Occhipinti, Christophe Barratier, Danièle Delorme, Jean Labadie
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (507 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CGNEH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Winged Migration (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

332 of 347 people found the following review helpful By Gregor von Kallahann on August 2, 2003
My ex-wife could never understand why I (the original couch potato) could never get enough of nature shows on TV. It was rather difficult to explain how fascinating I found the natural world, especially from the comfort of my own living room. And admittedly, some of those WILD KINGDOM episodes were kind of hokey. (I remember how betrayed I felt when I found out that Jim and Marlin had staged most of the good scenes and hadn't actually ventured to the wilds of Africa or the Amazon. Maybe they were just couch potatoes at heart too.)
But French filmmaker, Jacques Perrin and crew are certainly the real deal. This breathtaking documentary is one that I would unqualifiedly recommend--to just about anyone. Even my "ex" called recently to let me know that this film had left her in tears. I found it equally moving, and plainly I wasn't alone. In fact, when I saw it the whole theater burst into applause at the end.
As others have noted, the camera work on this film is awe inspiring. I have seen a few television docs with this kind of upclose footage before (I think maybe the EYEWITNESS series?), but none have sustained the effect for very long, and most don't pack the emotional wallop of this film.
Between this film and the recent SPELLBOUND, I can see an expanding market for documentaries--at least the more unique and captivating ones. A great film for family viewing, although younger children may be upset by the depiction of some of nature's (and mankind's) harsher realities. Otherwise, a true must-see in a sea of only purported must-sees.
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166 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 30, 2003
This 2001 award-winning documentary by Jacques Perrin certainly is unique. It's a full 99 minutes of exquisite cinematography of migrating birds, some species flying as far as 12,500 miles each year. There are a few captions, which tell the name of the bird and the amount of mileage they fly in order to migrate. There's also some light background music as well as natural sounds, and a few sentences, spoken by the director. Other than that, it's only the birds, whose migratory patterns were followed for three years.
At the beginning of the film there's a disclaimer informing the audience that there were no special effects were used. And so I sat there in wonder of how they were able to achieve all their shots. There's the beauty of birds flying in formation, close up shots of them feeding their young, competing with each other, stopping to rest. And there's one magnificent shot of fleeing an avalanche.
There are different species filmed in different areas of the world. We see the Artic Circle, the American Southwest, the industrial areas of Eastern Europe, the vast oceans, the skyline of cities and even a shot as they fly past the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. We also see hunters whose gunfire brings sudden death as well as a bird with a broken wing who is attacked and devoured by crabs.
Here is nature, in all its power and glory. I sat there wide-eyed, taking it all in. And somehow, the petty concerns of my daily life seemed to fall into perspective.
Some people might find this film boring and I doubt if it will get wide distribution in theaters. It's only playing in one theater in New York and, even in this densely populated city, there was a very sparse audience. I'm glad I was one of the people in that audience though because I loved every moment of the film would definitely see it again on DVD, especially if it had special features to describe how the cinematography was done.
Highly recommended.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2003
WINGED MIGRATION is filmmaker Jacques Perrin's stunning documentary study of bird migration. My wife and I left the special studio screening exclaiming, "How'd they do that!?"
The film begins along a minor waterway in Europe as a flock of geese begins its annual migration north to its summer breeding ground. It then cuts to other locales around the world as other species of large birds - usually cranes, swans, and storks, but also gannets, loons and others - begin their respective journeys. In all cases, the captioning identifies the species, their start points and destinations, and the miles between the two. Occasionally, Perrin makes the point more spectacularly by superimposing the flying flock on an image of the Earth taken from near-orbit. Voice overs are kept to a minimum.
Except for New York (with the WTC still standing), Paris, and a dismal industrial wasteland in eastern Europe, the flocks are shown flying through unpopulated landscapes both varied and magnificent: beaches, ice fields, Monument Valley, northern tundra, open oceans, snow-covered mountains, Asian farmlands, forest-enclosed lakes, deserts, and tropical rainforests. The sunset and weather (blizzards, fog, thunderstorms) provide dramatic backdrops. Then, at journey's end, the birds are shown in their summer habitats - usually steep, dramatic cliffs or rock-strewn shores with sea-ravaged margins.
But certainly the most eye-popping camera work is with the bird formations on the wing. The apparent vantage point of the lens is among the flock, with individual birds only an arm or hand-length away above, below, or to the side. I mean, you're RIGHT THERE! You'd think they'd have to be computer animated models.
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