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Captured with IMAX 3D cameras, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar, where lemurs arrived millions of years ago as castaways. They’ve since evolved into hundreds of diverse species, but are now highly endangered.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/3D Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2014
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 41 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Morgan Freeman
Directed by: David Douglas
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Written by: Drew Fellman
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 31, 2015


"A real place you could never imagine…"


My Take:

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar highlights the tireless efforts of trailblazing scientist Dr. Patricia C. Wright and her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.

On a remote island in the Indian Ocean special animals exist that may best be known as cartoon characters; however, these very real and spectacular creatures have an amazing story that started over 60 million years ago with a journey across the sea from Africa. It is widely held that a small group of proto-lemurs, one of the earliest primates, were washed out to sea in a storm and drifted to Madagascar on a floating raft of vegetation. At the time there were no predators in Madagascar—or even other mammals and birds—so lemurs took over and evolved into hundreds of different species, some as large as a gorilla.

That was before humans, traveling from Borneo, first arrived in the lemurs’ gentle paradise 2,000 years ago. Now, over 90% of the forests have been destroyed and all the giant lemurs, along with many other taxa, are extinct. More than three quarters of the lemurs that remain are at risk of disappearing from our planet forever—and taking with them important details of primate evolution.

Filmmakers David Douglas and Drew Fellman, share a long-held fascination with Madagascar and, after spending three months exploring the wilds of the exotic island, developed an equally strong admiration for the unique lemur population that exists naturally nowhere else in the world.

The IMAX experience is ideal for this documentary’s subject matter as remarkable high-definition footage transports viewers to majestic Madagascar and its eclectic inhabitants. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar tells the inspiring and important story of these amazing animals as well as documenting the importance of their survival. Madagascar’s and its lemurs’ fiercest advocate is American primatologist Dr. Patricia C. Wright. One of the leading authorities on lemurs, who has dedicated her life to this mission. The film provides portraits of Dr. Wright, the indigenous people of the region and of course the varying species of lemur that reside in Madagascar.

The story, narrated by Morgan Freeman, presents an inside look at the lemur and includes interesting facts, extraordinary images, and high levels of the “awwww” (meaning cute) factor. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is a wonderful documentary film that stands as a testament to the devotion/work of primatologist Dr. Patricia C. Wright as she and many others continue to study and fight to preserve the home and many species of the lemurs of Madagascar. At around forty minutes this isn‘t a long documentary film but the time goes by quickly as the subject matter and visuals prove both poignant and engaging. This is a heartwarming, and interesting documentary that makes for stimulating family entertainment.


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: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA


3D Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen):
  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):
  • Realism:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:


Island of Lemurs: Madascar 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

Captured with IMAX 3D cameras this presentation boasts superlative depth and an abundance of high level detail. The plethora of brilliant colors is vividly alluring as the deep primaries and resplendent secondary hues leap from the 1.781:1 framed video. Contrast balance is spot on as the various shades of green, brown and blue are gradationally revealing and whites appear bright with crisp highlights that preserve detail. Blacks are delineated, deep, and rich, which provides low level images with excellent perspective and depth of field. This film make wonderful use of the 3D platform. There are a variety of sequences that provide an entertaining reach out and touch sense of dimensionality. Objects onscreen have a discerning sense of depth with natural degrees of separation that impart a defining perspective relative to their virtual placement. Resolution is strong as the vastness and scope of the recorded elements offers transparently rendered detail, eye pleasing color, and a rewarding sense of depth and dimension that simply looks terrific in high definition. I didn’t notice any signs of ghosting/crosstalk or 3D related anomalies.


The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers the elements contained within this documentary film with aplomb. Morgan Freeman’s running narration is clearly rendered with crisp articulation and smooth intonation. I felt that the dialogue could have been a bit more forward within the front soundstage but otherwise presented very well. The front three channels are integration nicely and combine high level detail/clarity with pinpoint imaging. Mark Motherbaugh’s music score has appreciable top end air and smoothly rendered instrumentation as its primary elements are delivered through the front speakers with enveloping rear channel ambience used to broaden the soundstage. The surrounds are effectively used to reproduce the various sounds of the forest, 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.



2D Video Quality:


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Island of Lemurs: Madagascar comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 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 1.78:1 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. I can only imagine how it must have looked on the big screen.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Making of Island of Lemurs: Behind the Scenes (2 segments) – 6 minutes
  • (HD) The Story of Lemurs – 5 minute featurette
  • (HD) Meet Patricia Wright – 3 minute featurette
  • (HD) A Baby Indri – 2 minute featurette
  • (HD) Five Things About Indri – 2 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Cutest Lemur – 2 minute featurette
  • (HD) Go-Kart Racers – 2 minute featurette
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is a wonderful documentary film that stands as a testament to the devotion/work of primatologist Dr. Patricia C. Wright as she and many others continue to study and fight to preserve the home and many species of the lemurs of Madagascar. As you might expect it looks stunning on Blu-ray in both 2D and 3D flavors and features excellent lossless sound quality along with a rather bland supplemental offering that consists of a series of behind the scenes/on location shorts. Be that as it may, this is a rewarding documentary film that contains poignant subject matter and superlative imagery that is perfect for genre fans or family entertainment.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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I may have to add this one to my collection of IMAX 3D Blu-Ray discs.

Out of curiosity, where did you get the picture at the top of the post (two lemurs on a rocky landscape with a bright blue sky in the background)? I'm only curious because the first thing I saw when I looked at it was the banding and macroblocking in the sky and clouds. Is that a result of the image being compressed after you posted it or does the original image look like that? I have to assume that the banding and blocking I'm seeing was not present in the actual video, given your video rating and the quality typical of an IMAX feature on Blu-Ray (or DVD for that matter).

Thanks

Edit - Ok, it looks like a screen grab from the trailer for the movie, streamed via. YouTube, which explains where the artifacts came from.
 

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As much as I enjoy these type of documentaries, especially in 3d, it's always hard justifying the price you pay for only 40mins.
 

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As much as I enjoy these type of documentaries, especially in 3d, it's always hard justifying the price you pay for only 40mins.
I agree! We love good documentaries and seen the preview for this film awhile back when we watched the Bears documentary from Disney. It was almost an hour and a half long and I would've thought this film could have gotten the same treatment.

It still peaks my interest so it'll at least get a rent. :)
 

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Thank you for the review Ralph! This is a title I otherwise would not have known about if not for your review. I just ordered this because any Blu-Ray that gets a 100 for video and does not have heavy CGI (or any CGI in this case) in it is always worth seeing!
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the review Ralph! This is a title I otherwise would not have known about if not for your review. I just ordered this because any Blu-Ray that gets a 100 for video and does not have heavy CGI (or any CGI in this case) in it is always worth seeing!
Greetings,

Great! Be sure to post back after you've seen it. :)


Regards,
 

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I saw this in true I(no lie)MAX; certainly scenes were truly stunning, other scenes merely looked good. As a wildlife lover, I'd buy this on 4K BD!
 

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I watched this tonight in 3D. I would review this with three words: Wow, wow and wow! As is to be expected with any IMAX feature, the cinematography in this film was spectacular! There were so many scenes in this film that were just visually breathtaking. I felt that the audio could have been a bit more immersive and made better use (more use) of the rear surrounds to really place you into the rainforest, as in real world such an environment would envelop you with sound. I consider this to be a true video reference quality disc that will be near the top of my list for demonstrating my entertainment system.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I watched this tonight in 3D. I would review this with three words: Wow, wow and wow! As is to be expected with any IMAX feature, the cinematography in this film was spectacular! There were so many scenes in this film that were just visually breathtaking. I felt that the audio could have been a bit more immersive and made better use (more use) of the rear surrounds to really place you into the rainforest, as in real world such an environment would envelop you with sound. I consider this to be a true video reference quality disc that will be near the top of my list for demonstrating my entertainment system.
Greetings,

Thanks for posting your impressions JR! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed this terrific video presentation. :)


Regards,
 
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