Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 5th, 2003
The movie is exactly what the title suggests it is: we journey with various migratory birdsover their long, often hazardous voyages. We are intimately involved with the travels, flyingcheek by beak with the birds, right in the middle of the formations. The result is beautiful,compelling, moving, and utterly astounding.
The 5.1 sound does wonders for the you-are-there feel the movie is shooting for. The musicis very nicely rendered, but what st…nds out is the natural sounds, that are now completelyimmersive. Birds twitter from all sides, and the winds roar. The illusion is well nigh total.
I’m happy to report that the visual splendours of the film are faithfully preserved by thissumptuous 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The colours are brilliant, the contrasts to diefor, and the blacks are deep. The picture is crystalline, with only very slight grain in a few longshots. Even better: no noticeable edge enhancement halos. Prepare to have your breath takenaway.
The commentary by director Jacques Perrin covers both technical and philosphical aspects ofthe film. One might have wished that he be allowed to narrate in his native French and be givensubtitles, as is the case with the other interviews on the disc. The making-of featurette is almostan hour long, and goes a long way toward answering the “how the hell did they DO that?”question that the film invariably generates. Some of the behind-the-scenes footage (such as theimprinting of the baby birds who will fly with the crew) is as fascinating as the movie itself. Themusic is also give a 17 minute featurette. The “About the Film” interviews go over much thesame ground as the main featurette, but “Further Thoughts” explains how some of the morestriking scenes came about (such as the crabs attacking a wounded bird). The still gallery is amontage with narration, and it soo is subtitled. The trailers are for Winged Migration andCirque du Soleil: Verkai. The main page of the menu and its introduction are animatedand scored.
A remarkable film, beautifully transferred, and backed up with plenty of features well suitedto answering the principle questions raised by the main feature. Highly recommended.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Making of Documentary
- Music Featurette
- Filmmaker Interviews: “About the Film” and “Further Insights”
- Narrated Still Gallery