Wednesday, May 09, 2012

"To the Arctic", new Imax film about a polar bear, doesn't have the narrative strength of some other nature films


Warner Brothers and director Stephen MacGillivray present a 3-D Imax 45-minute “museum” film, “To The Arctic 3D”, depicting a polar bear and her two cubs struggling to find food in a world where ice floes to carry them are getting scarcer, in a warming climate.   (Sorry -- my brain momentarily scrambled the title with Paramount's "Into the Wild".)

The film does document the fact that the north polar ice cap will probably disappear in summer completely by 2050.  The North Pole is supposed to keep some ice cap all summer long, even though it is smaller than the Antarctic's.

The polar bear is related to the brown bear, with the male almost twice the size of the sow. The film depicts the rogue  male as a threat to kill or eat the young of the female.

But as a species, the polar bear is under threat. 

The film doesn’t have the narrative focus or storytelling that “Chimpanzee”, which also came out during Earth Week, does.

The film shows seals and walruses, and has a stirring sequence where the mom and cubs are making the most of a small seal for a meal.

Most of the scenery in the film is just ice and water.  But there is one impressive sequence showing rocky fjords, rather like a scene out of Toiken.   The film appears to have been shot in far northeastern Canada.


The Smithsonian link for the film is here

The film could be compared to “Arctic Tale”, in 2007 from Paramount Vantage (dir. Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robinson), with Queen Latifah narrating, telling a duel story of a female polar bear and female walrus.
      
There is a review of “Rescue 3D” on the “Films on Major Challenges to Freedom Blog” May 8.  It shows across the Mall at Air and Space.


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