Waking the Baby Mammoth
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National Geographic follows an international forensic investigation into her life and death; traveling from Siberia's Far North to sites across the globe. Interweaving cutting-edge science with Arctic adventure featuring a nomad, a scientist and a daring mammoth hunter, Walking the Baby Mammoth unlocks secrets of the Ice Age and unveils the latest innovations in woolly mammoth research.
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The quality is very good and parts of it gave insight into the local culture.
There was too much repetition and while it stirs up interest in the extinct mammoths, the film probably would have scored better if the producers had waited a few more years for the details to be revealed through "forensic" studies.
The scientists learn what season the mammoth died in, why it has a hump on its head, even that it at its mother's fecal product. In "M. Butterfly," a character says there are people in this part of the world who have both Asian and European features. It was fascinating to see people wearing furry parkas, but having blond hair. They show how St. Petersburg was as foreign to the Russian-Inuit as his world is to the DVD's viewers.
I can't say the work used computer animation. However, it did do something to recreat the baby and its contemporary landscape. It went one step further (too far?) and showed the baby walking in a park, walking through a museum, and interacting with a reindeer. This was done for the cuteness factors, just like the Ewoks were. On the one hand, it's great to have this ambassador from the past. On the other, it's so sad that a baby mammal died so young. The tragic issues surrounding infant mortality still rang in my head as I watched this. Many say, "Nature is cruel." The makers also try not to be graphic in discussing and illustrating the death. Still, sensitive viewers, especially parents or animal lovers, may want to be careful in watching this.
My red envelope said this was an hour-long work, but it's really 90 minutes. It's great that this DVD had English subtitles for the deaf community. However, I wish this, and every DVD in the US, also had Spanish language subtitles. Whereas it stood out when Susan Sarandon, Harvey Fierstein, and James Edward Olmos narrated documentaries, I forgot that Victor Garber was narrating here.
Many may want to watch this alongside the documentary about an adult mammoth find produced less than 10 years ago. As the baby mammoth is an ambassador from the past, it also reminded me of Ortzi, that ancient man found in the Alps. Some may want to watch documentaries about him alongside this one.
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