Nature

Reviews

Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees

Botanist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger guides us through the forests of Vancouver Island, California, Germany, Japan, and Ireland in Jeff McKay’s documentary Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees.  Like many ecological documentaries, the film emphasizes the relationship between trees and other organisms that make up complex forest ecosystems as well as how this ecosystem is connected to the earth’s oceans and atmosphere.

Reviews

Emptying the Skies

By: Addison Wylie Emptying the Skies finds itself in a scenario where the message is greater than the film its wrapped up in. Douglas and Roger Kass have strewn together interviews and clips from conspicuous raids and tense confrontations to make an eye-opening film chronicling the ever-growing problem of bird poaching in southern Europe.  The kindheartedness and tenacity of CABS (which stands for: Committee Against Bird Slaughter) is seen throughout, and their hearts remain open…

Reviews

Bears

By: Addison Wylie I’ve had to alter my evaluating criteria for DisneyNature.  It’s clear the sub-studio has no interest returning to the quality of earlier docs like Earth and Oceans anytime soon.  Instead, families receive a cutesy story set to live action B-roll of animals in their natural habitats. As someone who appreciates the importance of these wildlife documentaries, I find it tough to embrace this type of manufactured product.  DisneyNature’s African Cats left me…

Reviews

Revolution

By: Addison Wylie Revolution could very well be one of this year’s most important watches, but by the end of the documentary, you’ll be wondering what’s more of a threat: carbon dioxide poisoning in our atmosphere or filmmaker Rob Stewart’s constant need to be on camera.  I can’t ignore it.  No one can.  Stewart just loves to star in his own passion project. I hesitate to continue with this criticism about the director/producer/writer/cinematographer for fear…

Reviews

Hot Docs 2013: The Ghosts in our Machine is Hauntingly Good

By: Addison Wylie According to The Ghosts in our Machine, it’s easier for photographer Jo-Anne McArthur to go unseen in factory farms than it is to be seen in major publications. McArthur has dedicated her life to capturing the life of unkempt animals through her lens to spread the word of inhumane treatment aimed towards animals to garner material goods.  Whether she’s tagging along with other passionate individuals or executing guerrilla missions as we saw…

Reviews

Chimpanzee

By: Addison Wylie I don’t like the route that these new documentaries from DisneyNature have taken. Plain and simple. I don’t like how facts have taken a backseat and cute stitched together stories have taken the forefront. These are documentaries after all, not straight forward narratives. Understandably, Disney is making these films for a young target audience. But still, young acquiring minds don’t mind the odd instance of factual information. These nature documentaries draw in…

Reviews

To The Arctic

By: Addison Wylie To The Arctic is another documentary that reminds us just how relentless heat is against Mother Nature. The film, to which showcases the habitats and lifestyles of arctic animals (primarily a polar bear family), has an abundance of sweeping establishing shots showing audiences how much more desolate the deepest part of the Northern hemisphere has become.A strong attribute of Greg MacGillivray’s documentary (also co-produced by his son, Shaun) is its ability to tell…

Reviews

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

By: Addison Wylie My name is Addison and I speak for movies. And, I come bearing a review. For you, from me. It’s a film about nature and how to cherish it. It’s an important message in a film that’s in the pits. We follow a young boy. A young boy named Ted. Voiced by Zac Efron, should’ve been someone younger instead. Efron is energetic and charismatic to boot. But, he sounds too mature for…

Reviews

One Life

By: Addison Wylie One Life feels like it should be apart of the DisneyNature collection. It’s similar to Earth because the film is showcasing different animal and insect families, it’s similar to Oceans because of the rapid fire pacing of each family’s story, and it’s similar to last year’s African Cats because of how the script threads in little tales. However, it’s not until we see an attack scene where an ostrich is brutally taken…