DisneyNature: Wings of Life (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
93





Studio and Year: Disney - 2011
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 80 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Meryl Streep
Directed by: Louie Schwartzberg
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 16, 2013







"Nature's Balance"


Film Synopsis:

From Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee, comes Wings of Life — a stunning adventure full of intrigue, drama and mesmerizing beauty. Narrated by Meryl Streep, this intimate and unprecedented look at butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, bats and flowers is a celebration of life, as a third of the world’s food supply depends on these incredible — and increasingly threatened — creatures. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, Wings of Life utilizes riveting high-speed, time lapse and macro filmmaking to showcase in spectacular detail these unsung heroes of our planet.


My Take:

Wings of life from DisneyNature is a rather interesting documentary film that presents an intriguing behind the scenes look at nature, specifically flowers, pollinators and the importance of their relationship. Here are a few details:

Emerging in the age of dinosaurs, some 135 million years ago, flowers introduced a new approach to the mechanics of plant pollination. Prior to the flower, most plants relied on the wind to disperse their pollen. Many still do, releasing grains of pollen indiscriminately into the atmosphere with the intent of reaching plants of the same species. The flower takes a more efficient approach. Serving in essence as a living billboard, it attracts other species, pollinators, with a vibrant color, the promise of food, or an alluring scent. As the pollinator continues foraging, it takes the plant’s pollen with it, from flower to flower, an event often invisible to the naked eye, and typically taken for granted.

Over the millennia, flowers and their pollinators have evolved, creating an unimaginably rich diversity of species and ingenious partnerships. As a species, our own survival also depends on this engagement. Our cultivation of flowering plants began some 10,000 years ago, ultimately facilitating our transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers by tying us to the land with a plant-like rootedness to build our cities and civilizations. Today, despite all of our technological advances and mechanized farming techniques, our agricultural industries are still dependent, in part, on this elemental, intricate, and increasingly threatened interaction between plants and pollinators. It has been estimated that one third of our food crops are tied to this collaboration, put another way, one out of every three mouthfuls of food we consume.

To illustrate this story and its history, the filmmakers identified nature’s most intriguing pollinator-plant scenarios, past and present. To capture these engagements on film required them to travel from the rainforests of Panama to the highlands and deserts of Mexico, from the deserts of Arizona across the plains of Kansas. Utilizing the latest tools in digital cinematography, this documentary paints a vivid portrait of one of natures most beautiful and fundamental dances as a myriad of landscapes and species with over 30 varieties of hummingbirds, native bees and wild orchids are captured in bloom.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, and shot by two-time Emmy Award winning cinematographer Keith Brust Wings of Life utilizes riveting high-speed, time lapse and macro filmmaking techniques to showcase in spectacular detail the amazing interplay between these creatures and species of flowering plants. While Wings of life lacks the more emotive drama of some of DisneyNature’s past documentaries I found it to be a visually compelling and enlightening film that is 80 minutes well spent.


Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all audiences.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


DisneyNature Wings of life comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This is a reference quality high definition presentation that boasts brilliant color, superlative depth, and an abundance of high level detail. The nature defined color palette is alluring as the deep, vivid, greens and resplendent earth toned hues leap from the 1.85:1 framed video. Contrast balance is spot on and blacks are delineated, deep, and rich. Resolution is impeccable as the vastness and scope of the recorded elements offers lucid, three dimensional acuity that is extraordinary. These beautifully captured images of our planet can be captivating as the richness of color, transparently rendered detail, and near infinite sense of depth and dimension are assuredly conveyed in high definition.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers the elements contained within this documentary film with aplomb. Meryl Streep’s running narration is clearly rendered with crisp articulation and smooth intonation. The front three channels are integration nicely and combine high level detail/clarity with pinpoint imaging. The surrounds are effectively used to reproduce the various sounds of the forests/wildlife, near field panning effects and low level atmospherics. This isn’t an aggressive surround mix but this audio presentation mates perfectly with the source and sounds great.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Sneak peek: DisneyNature’s Bears

  • Bonus DVD




Final Thoughts:

Wings of life from DisneyNature presents an intriguing behind the scenes look at nature, specifically flowers, pollinators and the importance of their relationship. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, and shot by two-time Emmy Award winning cinematographer Keith Brust Wings of Life utilizes riveting high-speed, time lapse and macro filmmaking techniques to showcase in spectacular detail the amazing interplay between these creatures and species of flowering plants. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney featuring gorgeous high definition video and excellent lossless surround sound that compliment the subject matter. The lack of bonus material is disappointing but don’t let that stop you from giving this one a spin.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 08:37 AM
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im just wondering why AVS does not link their blu ray reviews to Amazon or the like so you can get credit for us purchasing them through your link. other sites do it and i make sure to use their link when i purchase. i would like to give you guys credit for your excellent reviews by purchasing through your link. (Amazon of course)
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 08:43 AM
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Thats actually a good Idea for all of Mr. Potts great reviews here. Even though I am newer here, I have come the last few years to see his reviews first. Some commission links for you guys would generate a decent amount of income for all the work you guys do here.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Thanks much. I will pass your suggestion (s) on and appreciate the support! smile.gif

Regards,
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 10:05 AM
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Another vote for Amazon links!
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 10:55 AM
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Same here!

Maybe add a link for Netflix also! biggrin.gif

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post #7 of 15 Old 04-12-2013, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Okay, it looks like AVS has the capability in place for affiliation to Amazon. Take a look at the "Gear used in this thread" in the right column. Clicking on the "Wings of life" Blu-ray links to Amazon for purchase with the site gettting the affilate connection.

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention. smile.gif

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post #8 of 15 Old 04-13-2013, 06:48 AM
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That was fast lol! Awesome. From now on ill use that link when I buy blu rays. I would make it easier to find in future reviews though.

Best place for it is in the original review post right after your "Final Thoughts" IMO. I would also think about going back and adding this to your old reviews as well. If this isn't possible, I would add a note in the final thoughts of where the link can be found. Just a thought.

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post #9 of 15 Old 04-13-2013, 06:53 AM
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Ralph I guess this will make a good demo disc for calibrators of displays ?

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-13-2013, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Ralph I guess this will make a good demo disc for calibrators of displays ?

Greetings,

It certainly looks good enough Frank..smile.gif


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post #11 of 15 Old 04-13-2013, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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Greetings,

It certainly looks good enough Frank..smile.gif


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Thanks Ralph

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post #12 of 15 Old 04-17-2013, 09:46 PM
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Purchased and started to view tonight. Louie is getting better, but still has problems with Focusing. Purchased his Chasing the Light Blu-ray. It had great content and musical backgrounds but his Focusing was a disaster!. Watch the Montage on the S&M Blu-ray, especially the night scenes, and all the lit windows are in clear detail. In Louis's night time scenes, all the lit windows look like blazing stars with no clear detail. Fortunately I have the Darbee which helped somewhat. Wings is clearer, but still there are times when it's annoying that it's out of Focus. Waiting to watch the Special Features to see whether Louis is wearing glasses yet, because if he isn't he needs to get some. Still a good Blu-ray, but at times annoying due to the Focusing issues.
Addendum:
No Real Special Features, so don't know whether Louie has obtained glasses yet. Going for Cataract surgery, so will re-watch after, but other videos I watch are clear and crisp.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-22-2013, 03:53 PM
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I'd like to ask this question but know I'll get some backlash. I bought Disney's "Earth" BD a few years ago. Are there any nature sets like this (Wings included) where something isn't mauled to death? I realize "that's life" and I've heard it many times but I don't think my 2 year old needs to see that just yet. I'm just looking for some nice nature documentaries that show off the beauty of nature and showcase some new animals for him.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-24-2013, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker412 View Post

I'd like to ask this question but know I'll get some backlash. I bought Disney's "Earth" BD a few years ago. Are there any nature sets like this (Wings included) where something isn't mauled to death? I realize "that's life" and I've heard it many times but I don't think my 2 year old needs to see that just yet. I'm just looking for some nice nature documentaries that show off the beauty of nature and showcase some new animals for him.
Same for me. I find I cannot get really emotionally "in" to any nature documentaries due to apprehension regarding gory scenes. I, too, realize that it is part of the life-cycle; I just do not find it "entertaining". If I want explicit details I will go to a biology textbook source.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-26-2013, 07:35 AM
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This is why our kids get so mortified when they actually get out into life, after being under the over-protective umbrella of their parents.
All 4 of my grandkids are growing up, more or less, in the country. They've seen animals killed, give life, pass away, and have taken lives in the course of their duties. Guaranteed they may be somewhat shaken, but not mortified. Also, country life makes them more immune to what's out there, versus people trying to keep their kids germ free, not allowing their immune systems to build up.
Let the kids see what reality is about and explain to them that not all life is cutesy wutsy! If, someday, they meet one of these creatures, they'll be more cautious about going over and petting that so called harmless whatever.
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