Cast: Jacques Perrin
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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. Dana Rowader
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Sony Pictures
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen]
- [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Philippe Barbeau||Sound/Sound Designer|
|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|
|Denis Gilhem||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Jean-Marc Henchoz||Associate Producer|
|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|
1. Start [:09]
2. Greylag Goose [4:24]
3. Eurasian Crane [3:13]
4. White Stork [1:52]
5. Barnacle Goose [1:56]
6. Whooper Swan [1:20]
7. Bar-Headed Goose [1:55]
8. Red-Crowned Crane [4:03]
9. Bald Eagle [1:22]
10. Canada Goose [:38]
11. Snow Goose [2:42]
12. Clark's Grebe [2:01]
13. Sandhill Crane [1:02]
14. Greater Sage Grouse [3:05]
15. Common Murre [8:15]
16. Northern Gannet [1:26]
17. Arctic Tern [2:26]
18. Red-Breasted Goose [9:13]
19. Waders [12:41]
20. African White Pelican [2:45]
21. The Amazon [5:39]
22. Albatross [2:55]
23. Rockhopper Penguin [:46]
24. King Penguin [2:14]
Director's Commentary: On/Off
Creating the Music
About the Film
Photo Gallery With Filmmaker Commentary
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
I loved this movie!! It's so amazing! You'll feel like you are flying with the birds. Truly amazing and inspiring.
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.
Makes you feel humble as a member of humanity.The birds have a beautiful but stressful life
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.
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!!
I was truly carried away while watching this masterpiece and acquired a deep devotion and respect for our feathered friends.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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!
No plot, just beautiful birds. Kids love it.
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!
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!