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Yellowstone: Battle for Life [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 272 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Yellowstone: Battle for Life (BD)

From the makers of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, with an unprecedented production budget of $25 million, comes the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, shot entirely in high definition, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else.


Like another of David Attenborough's epic BBC documentary series, Planet Earth, Yellowstone, narrated by the charismatic Peter Firth, links seemingly disparate elements in ecosystems to teach interconnectedness and wilderness ethics. The BBC is still at the forefront of nature documentaries that promote environmentalism, and this one marks yet another milestone in progressive ecological education through film. Taking a wide view of America's first national park, Yellowstone is demarcated episodically by season, beginning with winter and ending with the following autumn. Each show combines footage of the flora and fauna in its chosen habitat. Yet rather than dramatizing the narrative through anthropomorphizing animals, the film achieves its drama through the detailed geographical and geological information about why and how Yellowstone became such a spectacular location. The first episode, "Winter," opens with a wolf pack prowling the snow for weak elk and proceeds to show stunning, rare clips of red foxes, river otters, and bison foraging or hunting to survive in the frigid climate. All these animals merely populate a scene explained as a set of valleys carved by weather. One sees massive elk and pronghorn antelope migrations from aerial views. In "Summer" one gets a much-needed dose of baby animal footage to balance all that starvation and ice. Wolf pups and bear cubs frolicking in streams will please any viewer. Flowers bloom around glacial lakes, otter and buffalo courtships unfold, and other mammals lazily bask in the sunshine before wildfire season. "Autumn" focuses less on animals than on volcanic action in the 20,000 acres of wild space. In all, a holistic picture emerges, one in which weather and geography are crucial to life. While Yellowstone only briefly covers the impact of tourism on the park, it clearly indicates that wilderness must remain wild for such delicate balance to exist. --Trinie Dalton

Special Features

The People of Yellowstone

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002EWD0D6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,097 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yellowstone: Battle for Life [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
The BBC has released many excellent documentaries in hi-def/Blu-ray and Yellowstone is no exception. It carries on the BBC's tradition of high-quality nature programming and flair for visually-stunning photography. This series is a year in the lives of several of Yellowstone/North America's iconic wildlife: the bison, grizzly bears, foxes, wolves, beavers, and elk. Divided into three 50 minute episodes, they are titled "Winter", "Summer" and "Autumn" (in this order). For the US market, the BBC has added "Battle for Life" to the title, but this is a bit superfluous and unnecessary, maybe to make the DVD sound more dramatic. The original title is simply "Yellowstone".

The episodes are informative, entertaining, and light-hearted, largely free of the depressing reminders of human ecological destruction seen on some other BBC documentaries such as Wild Pacific [Blu-ray]. I learned some things I didn't know before. Winter is by far my favorite episode, giving me the most memorable line from the series: "At 40 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit or centigrade doesn't really matter much. At this temperature, both are the same." Despite being the home to the world's largest geothermal formation, Yellowstone is paradoxically one of the coldest places in North America. I enjoyed the pristine landscapes covered with deep snow and seeing a winter wonderland untouched by any signs of humanity, all from the comfort of my home. One particularly amazing scene is of a fox sniffing for mice under 6 feet of snow, and seeing it leap into the air, plunge headfirst into the snow like an Olympic diver, and emerge with a mouse in its jaws.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'm writing this before the Blu-Ray is released, but I happened to catch this program on Animal Planet yesterday and was very pleased with it.

The program contains the usual stunning scenery and animal video you would expect from this type of program. The basic theme of the program is to follow how various animals survive in Yellowstone throughout the year. I missed the first part of the program, but I believe it starts with summer and then flows through the seasons to summer again. There seemed to be particular emphasis on the Yellowstone winter given its harshness. (Of particular interest was the fact that winter is when wolves are at their strongest as their prey animals become weaker.)

The program also spent some time explaining how the geology of Yellowstone affected its climate. They explained, for example, how it can snow in Yellowstone any month of the year. (Something I found interesting given that I got caught in a snowstorm there in late July one year!)

The TV airing was 120 minutes, less commercials. The Blu-Ray description indicates a run time of 150 minutes. That might include extra features or it might mean additional footage not included for broadcast. Either way, and given the price, this seems to be a good deal.

UPDATE: The program actually includes three 50-minute episodes (Winter, Summer, Autumn). I must have missed part of the Autumn as part of that episode has a bit more of the man versus nature theme than the other episodes. The episodes are presented in widescreen (and look great). Three short features on "The People of Yellowstone" are included.
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Well produced. Beautiful movie. Narration is informative, highlighting how the forces that made and continues to make Yellowstone affect its landscape and its inhabitants. Tasteful underscoring (Chamber Orchestra of London), along with sounds of nature are integrated well into the narration. Choose the HD TV version if you can.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of BBC documentaries. However, this one was shot on my turf, and I didn't care for the embellished locations and the inaccurate and over-dramatized script. This documentary is about Yellowstone, but you'll be treated to authentic sights such as the "callie-opie" hummingbirds feeding on garden columbines (the wild ones don't come in pink in this area) with the Tetons in the background, probably in the vicinity of Jenny Lake Lodge. Since most of Yellowstone is a volcanic plateau, it is not known for craggy mountain scenery. Apparently 'they' felt the need to borrow some surrounding mountain scenery, as if Yellowstone isn't grand enough, judging from the numerous panoramas of the Tetons, the Absarokas, and other mountains not in the park. For example, Pilot and Index Peaks are shown in this documentary (from an overlook on Highway 212 east of the park). They are in the Absaroka Range and are well outside Yellowstone's boundaries, and can't be seen from within Yellowstone. To see bears feeding on moths, you'll also need to head into the Absarokas, again, outside the park. The footage depicting the life cycle of whitebark pine was shot completely out of the park on the Beartooth Plateau, which they referred to as 'Yellowstone's wilderness'. It is not Yellowstone's wilderness, the scenery shown is in the Custer National Forest, and as strange as it seems, Yellowstone actually has no designated wilderness. At least there were a couple of shots of Electric Peak and Mt Holmes, mountains actually IN the park. Since this documentary was titled "Yellowstone, battle for life", the implication is all the filming locations were in Yellowstone. Not so, in a big way.Read more ›
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