HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
HTS Overall Score:75
As a person who loves nature, these cutesy little documentaries on fuzzy animals are a blast. First and foremost I am an animal nut and just love anything cute and furry. Secondly they make for some fantastic babysitters as the bright colors, slick photography and fuzzy little animals can keep the attention of the little tykes for many an hour, not to mention the fact that they usually make great demo discs and background movies for when guests come over. This trend continues with Warner’s “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar”, where Dr. Patricia Wright travels to the island of Madagascar to aid in the conservation of these adorable little beasts.
Most kids today will know of Madagascar thanks to the animated movie featuring one of the little cuties, but the real island of Madagascar is actually one of the last remaining spots on Earth where Lemurs are still to be found. One theory held by scientists is that Lemurs existed millions of years ago, populating the world in great numbers, with proto lemurs washing up on the shores of Madagascar where they thrived off of the tropic island’s balmy weather. There were no predators on the island so they were able to populate the island with ease and grow faster than any other species in the area. Now that they have begun to drop off the planet elsewhere, Madagascar is the last great haven where you can find them left due to deforesting and the rise of Mankind’s population increasing every year (along with some poor practices at even TRYING to save them until recently). The Lemurs themselves are almost extinct as a species and those who are remaining are at a critical risk of being lost forever, much like the Dodo bird.
“Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” is a cute little documentary helmed by David Douglass and Drew Fellman, who spent three months on the island photographing Patricia Wright and her endeavors to save the Lemur population. The movie itself is a short little jaunt, clocking in at just under 40 minutes and takes a very simplistic approach. It’s not dramatized and voiced like the Disney documentaries, but sticks straight to the facts, and really focusing on the cinematography of the scenario. We see the conservationists doing their best to log, catalog and otherwise keep track of all the Lemurs in a day and age where most people only know of them through “King Julien” of the “Madagascar” movies.
Narrated by Morgan Freeman the movie is a cute little adventure that will mostly cater to the younger demographic. Hardcore documentary lovers won’t find a whole lot of in depth substance, but the children will love the music and the cornucopia of cute fuzzy little animals parading across the screen will have them giggling and clapping their hands. The movie has some good tidbits of information and some sobering bits of reality when you see the danger these animals are in due to the massive deforestation of the area. As I said, hardcore documentarian fanatics won’t get a whole lot out of it, but as an entry level documentary aimed at young children, it does the job quite nicely.
Rated G for General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=41465[/img]“Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” was filmed in an IMAX presentation that lends itself toward the documentary style of film making. The wide open shots of nature and the expansive sweeping of the camera pans look fantastic in high definition with only some minor complaints. Detail is stunning throughout with some incredible shots of the Lemur population and all their little varieties. The Ring tailed, the spotted, the striped, all of them look impeccable and finely detailed from nose to tail. Colors are bright and vivid, although there is some strange boosting of the contrast levels. This contrast boosting also makes the black levels susceptible to some black crush and there is some shimmering in the image on long faraway shots. The image is quite good, but just not as excellent as some of the other IMAX shot documentary movies of the modern age. The image also contains a bonus 3D presentation of the film as well and that is much like the 2D image, good but not excellent. Depth is solid and there is some nice pop to the Lemurs themselves, but the layering a bit thing and I noticed some crosstalk at times.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=41473[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track provided by Warner does a very good job at replicating the basic sound stage. The majority of the 39 minute movie is dominated by Morgan Freeman’s voice as he narrates the predicament of the critters and subsequent voices of Patricia Wright as she tries her best to save them. The rest of the time we have a musical score that compliments the cute animals and lights up the 5.1 track a bit more than the center channel. The chattering of the Lemurs and a few ambient background noises come through the surround channels and add a nice sense of ambiance to the movie, while a soft LFE track is utilized mainly to add some depth to the music. A good track that does well with the genre style of audio that it is.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=41481[/img]• Making of The Island of Lemurs
• Behind the Scenes
• The Story of Lemurs
• Meet Patricia Wright
• A Baby Indri
• The Cutest Lemur
• Go-Kart Racers
• Five Things About Indri
It’s not going to set the documentary world on its ear with something new and exciting, but “Island of Lemurs” is cute and adorable and goes along hand in hand with the modern success of the “Madagascar” movies and is a great way to get children involved in this type of things. The audio and video are very solid, with some minor flaws and there’s a few fun extras that will get the kids interacting with more serious issues. Definitely worth a watch if you’re interested in the animals or have kids in the house. Recommended for a good rental.
Starring: Patricia Wright, Morgan Freeman
Directed by: David Douglas
Written by: Drew Fellman
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, SpanishDD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 39 minutes
“Own ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR on Blu-ray combo pack and Digital HD on March 31”
Buy Island of Lemurs: Madagascar On Blu-ray At Amazon
Recommendation: Good Rental
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