Winged Migration
  • Winged Migration
  • Winged Migration

Winged Migration

4.5 22

Cast: Jacques Perrin


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A truly breathtaking study in the migratory patterns of birds from the makers of the acclaimed Microcosmos, Jacques Perrin's visually stunning documentary finds its way to DVD courtesy of Columbia Tri/Star Home Entertainment. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image quality is as good as it can be for the small screen. This is a film that truly…  See more details below


A truly breathtaking study in the migratory patterns of birds from the makers of the acclaimed Microcosmos, Jacques Perrin's visually stunning documentary finds its way to DVD courtesy of Columbia Tri/Star Home Entertainment. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image quality is as good as it can be for the small screen. This is a film that truly deserves to be seen in a theater, and despite the fact that the amazing landscapes are difficult to appreciate on one's television, the colors are bright and vivid and the print immaculate. The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 and is free of any notable distortion. Of course, to nature fanatics this is already a fascinating film, but the extra features on this disc are almost as compelling as the feature itself. Director Jacques Perrin offers a rich and informative audio commentary (voiced in English) and it's obvious that he has gained much insight into the instincts of his subjects. A featurette about the creation of the film's sweeping score includes interviews with composer Bruno Coulais (in French with English subtitles) and the filmmakers as they attempt to compose a score that follows the birds just as the cameras do without becoming to heavy-handed or fading into the background. While the commentary and the music featurette are interesting, it's the making-of featurette that's truly the crown of the extra features. It's utterly fascinating to see how the birds were trained and to watch the crew's interaction with their subjects during the sometimes tumultuous shoot. The methods they used to bond with and film these creatures offer interesting insight not only into filmmaking, but the true nature and intelligence of their subjects as well. Interviews with the filmmakers (again in French with English subtitles) explore these concepts even further as the crew discusses their portrayal of the birds; it's also great to hear their reflections on the final product. "Further Insight" provides just that, with a unique method of presenting the interview with picture-in-picture film footage so that viewers can truly understand both the stylistic choices of the filmmakers and the unique flight patterns of the various featured birds. A photo gallery is accompanied by commentary (again in French with English subtitles) that breaks down the birds by species and discusses the unique traits of each bird featured in the film. The images here are truly remarkable, and give the viewer the opportunity to truly study the birds in great detail. Trailers for the feature and Cirque du Soleil: Varekai round out the disc nicely. Not only is this presentation a gem for DVD fanatics, it's an indispensable addition to any nature lover's collection as well.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
An odyssey over three years in the making, Winged Migration certainly is an amazing experience to behold. Its most impressive and moving achievement is its ability to draw the viewer into an almost foreign world, traveling along with a myriad of bird species as they undertake their semiannual migrations over vast distances. Just as MicroCosmos placed the viewer into an ant-sized world where blades of grass loomed like skyscrapers, Winged Migration offers the world through birds' eyes. We're on the ground with them as they interact, look for sustenance, and care for their young; and we're in the air with the birds as they dauntlessly fly high and low above the earth and sea. The film is also a tour of the globe that reveals gorgeous landscapes that most humans never get to see. One of the most unexpected delights of the film is listening to the many and varying voices of these creatures as they communicate with each other; it's almost like a music track all its own. As far as the actual music and score of the film, it is a mixed bag. Some musical choices interact nicely with the visuals, while many are overwrought and distracting. Usually the most effective moments are either without music or accompanied with minimalist compositions. The thrill of flying with the birds is countered with the depiction of the disasters and impediments that they face on a daily basis. Exhaustion, natural predators, hunters, broken wings, and human factory pollution are among the many obstacles that claim the lives of migrating birds; sometimes less than half of them actually make it to their destinations. One of the most jarring moments in the film is when a gunshot rings out and one of the birds goes limp and falls out of the sky, followed by several more of its companions. The shock of these deaths is joined with the slow realization that another bird is not going to make it out of the industrial waste near a factory, that a baby can be snatched and eaten right in front of its parents' eyes, and that a broken-winged bird is going to become the dinner for a horde of crabs. But these disturbing moments are infrequent, and the main focus of the film is to portray the grandeur of birds in general. Completely unlike the conventional nature documentary, Winged Migration is not about teaching cool facts about mating habits or details about one specific bird. Other than informing us of the distance and path of each bird's migration, there is little else offered to satiate our scientific curiosity. Although there are a few instances in which it would be nice to learn the reasons for certain actions of a bird or where the film cuts away from an enthralling interaction, Winged Migration keeps its focus broad. In this way, the film is very effective in creating an intimate, poetic portrait that conveys the majesty of all birds.
New York Times - Stephen Holden
It may sound facetious, but Winged Migration provides such an intense vicarious experience of being a flapping airborne creature with the wind in its ears that you leave the theater feeling like an honorary member of another species.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
It's not the enormous undertaking that impresses so much as the sheer ecstasy of flight and the ability of Perrin's team to catch it.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
At its best, Winged Migration is a marvel, and if that seems like a gee-whiz word, that's because this film has a lot to be gee-whiz about.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Incredible making-of goes behind the scenes in revealing how this extraordinary film was made; Full-length director's commentary; Creating the Music featurette; Beautiful photo gallery with filmmaker commentary; In-depth filmmaker interviews; Bonus trailers; Animated menus; Scene selections; Web link

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jacques Perrin Narrator

Technical Credits
Jacques Perrin Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Philippe Barbeau Sound/Sound Designer
Christophe Barratier Producer
Karl Baumgartner Associate Producer
Jean-Baptiste Benoit Sound/Sound Designer
Reinhard Brundig Associate Producer
Bruno Coulais Score Composer
Paolo de Jesus Sound/Sound Designer
Jean de Tregomain Executive Producer
Danièle Delorme Associate Producer
Jean Dorst Screenwriter
Stephane Durand Screenwriter
Denis Gilhem Sound/Sound Designer
Jean-Marc Henchoz Associate Producer
Guy Jarry Screenwriter
Jean Labadie Associate Producer
Gerard Lamps Sound/Sound Designer
Jose Maria Morales Associate Producer
Andréa Occihpinti Associate Producer
Laurent Quaglio Sound/Sound Designer
Yves Robert Associate Producer
Francis Roux Screenwriter
Marie-Josephe Yoyotte Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start
2. Greylag Goose
3. Eurasian Crane
4. White Stork
5. Barnacle Goose
6. Whooper Swan
7. Bar-Headed Goose
8. Red-Crowned Crane
9. Bald Eagle
10. Canada Goose
11. Snow Goose
12. Clark's Grebe
13. Sandhill Crane
14. Greater Sage Grouse
15. Common Murre
16. Northern Gannet
17. Arctic Tern
18. Red-Breasted Goose
19. Waders
20. African White Pelican
21. The Amazon
22. Albatross
23. Rockhopper Penguin
24. King Penguin


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Winged Migration 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly an amazing video. My autistic grandson insists on watching this when he goes to bed. He is learning the names of all the birds. I myself enjoy it tremendously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film excels at capturing the beauty of its subjects: using little dialogue, the film makers allow the beauty of the birds to tell the story. Some of the scenes are particularly heavy-handed, yet poignant: a duck runs afoul of an eastern European factory; a flock crosses over North American duck-hunting lands with the expected results. There is anthropomophization particularly evident in the ubiquitous penguins-are-men-in-tuxedos scenes, yet the camera always remains intent on the beauty of the bird as it navigates its (sometimes grim) environment. I had little expectation when I saw this movie in the theater, and I left with a much broader appreciation of the animals and the possibilities of documentary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie!! It's so amazing! You'll feel like you are flying with the birds. Truly amazing and inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished watching it. I had read a good review of the DVD, so I watched the movie first, as was suggested. Then I watched the features. The two together add up to five stars in my opinion. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Makes you feel humble as a member of humanity.The birds have a beautiful but stressful life
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most beautiful documentary I have ever seen. It's the only thing that has ever made me want a huge screen in my house. My husband and I were just transported away for an hour or so. Thanks so much for taking all the time and trouble to make this gorgeous film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe I didn't know about this movie earlier! Living in Iceland for the past two years, these birds have become the norm. The Whooper Swans, Grayling Geese, Puffins and the Terrorizing Terns have given me an entirely new perspective to what I didn't appreciate before!! This is a must see for all those bird lovers and anyone who loves Mother Nature!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was truly carried away while watching this masterpiece and acquired a deep devotion and respect for our feathered friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie, while given high marks, was incredibly boring. I'm not saying this movie is wrong for everyone just not those who would mind sitting out in the wild for two hours watching birds (because this is even less interesting). Only watch this movie if you are a professional ornothologist, want a nap, or are already in acoma.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A breathtaking movie, which humbles you and makes you look at the lives of some amazing birds with marvel. You can feel your heart move to the chords of the soundtrack. This movie made me wonder why we are here on Earth. Are we really so different from these wonderful birds? As the birds flew, I wanted to be there too, and be able to fly free like them. By the end of the movie I felt like getting out of my couch and going out in the open, and embracing the skies...nature. A movie which can make you go through these emotions, well... it got to be great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a stunning achievement. Beautifully photographed. An amazing look at our winged friends, often from their own perspective. You can't help but appreciate the incredible nature of our world after viewing this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful nature documentaries I have ever seen. You feel as if you are flying with the birds. There is minimal narration and the soundtrack adds to the pleasure of the experience. Don¿t miss the film extra about the making of the movie. It is as fascinating as the movie itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Happened across DVD in local library and brought home for our 1-year old. Both parents and child have been pulled in by the beauty of the film. Sitting in our kitchen, our daughter now reacts to the sound of ducks calling as they fly over the neighborhood, and this has introduced the concept of birds into her life. Springtime will soon prove a wonder for us all. A week later I came across a news article which mentioned a book I immediately sought out. I'm a more complete world citizen for having both watched 'Winged Migration' and read Peter Matthiessen's 'Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many shots in this film place foreground footage of flying birds on different, more picture-postcard backgrounds--and it's so glaringly obvious that it's distracting, not pleasing. Published reports indicate some scenes may have been staged altogether. One of the moments that does move audiences, with migrating waterbirds being killed by hunters, is marred by obviously dubbed-in sounds of gunshots. The film is repetitively edited and has execrable music--one of the worst nature films of recent years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This documentary is the closest anyone will get to actually becoming a bird and migrating with them in their rare and beautiful habitat. The narration is minimal and the cinematography outstanding. How many of us get a birds-eye view of Europe among the clouds and over the tree tops? At first, we tried to figure out how the photographer captured this footage and not until seeing the making of this film did we realize how he did it! What a surprise! Don't miss it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No plot, just beautiful birds. Kids love it.
1Atomic More than 1 year ago
An amazing video for the entire family. One of the most beautiful films every. Towards the end, a special meaning becomes evident. Very well done. A classic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the most spectacular film I have ever seen! I will forever have great respect for migrating birds especially geese. I don't usually purchase films but not only did I run out and buy this film but I also was lucky enough to have a daughter who cared enough to run all over Anchorage, Alaska to purchase me the soundtrack of this film. I was totally blown away by all the talented people who had the least part in this incredible film. THANK YOU for this piece of art!