The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2011
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 80 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
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
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.
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
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.
- (HD) Sneak peek: DisneyNature’s Bears
- Bonus DVD
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.
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