Winged Migration

( 21 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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
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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.

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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/2/2004
  • UPC: 043396002401
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jacques Perrin Voice Only
Technical Credits
Jacques Perrin Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Philippe Barbeau Sound/Sound Designer
Christophe Barratier Producer
Karl Baumgartner Associate Producer
Karl Baumgertner 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Beauty in Flight!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Family Movie

    No plot, just beautiful birds. Kids love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rare and Beautiful

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Worse than disappointing

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Opened our eyes, ears, and hearts.

    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.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Experience of Flight

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Incredible!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Humbling Experience

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Two Hour Nap I've Ever Had

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply breathtaking

    I was truly carried away while watching this masterpiece and acquired a deep devotion and respect for our feathered friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I loved the DVD, Winged Migration

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A breath of fresh air!!

    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!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2004

    Awesome indeed

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing so Beautiful

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Masterpiece

    Makes you feel humble as a member of humanity.The birds have a beautiful but stressful life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Documentary I've Seen

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Future Vet

    I loved this movie!! It's so amazing! You'll feel like you are flying with the birds. Truly amazing and inspiring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW!!

    Truly amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews