Yellowstone: Battle for Life
Yellowstone: Battle for Life (SD)
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
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Park, for that matter. The opportunity to showcase the beautiful scenery is interwoven with Peter Firth's narration, which is interesting and easy to listen to. Developed by BBC so there is none of the negativity and bashing of humans that every American production has. Thanks, BBC and Amazon.com!!
One frustration with the BluRay is that the disc has numerous introductions. Lots of slow emerging animations in a series telling you about piracy law from US perspective, telling you its HD, that it is BBC, a commercial for the other BBC nature series, then a BBC warning on piracy, then the jingle telling you the series menu is coming up. My player was brand new up to date with updated firmware (5 star rated Samsung model) and yet it had trouble with this disc. If you skip all the intro stuff it freezes on the menu and you have to restart. I learned my workarounds but it was a hassle at first.
Because of my interest in Yellowstone I bought this out of the blue based upon the quality of previous BBC productions. I was not disappointed and would in fact highly recommend it. The first two episodes (Winter & Summer) were the best, the last episode (Fall) was unfortunately filled with too much human content. Although I understand why, it is not what I want to see in a natural history documentary. I would rather that it was simply part of the narrative instead of taking up video content that is better used on the wildlife and landscape.