Apr 04, 2013 08:43 AM EST

Warner Bros really Delivers A Very Impressive Release With To The Arctic

Warner Bros really Delivers A Very Impressive Release With To The Arctic
When it comes to nature documentaries, who can turn them down. They're like a car crash, you just can't look away.  "To The Arctic" looks so cute with all those little polar bears and their frozen adventure. The film is enjoyable but really when it comes down to it…it's just WAY too short. IMAX movies used to run 40 minutes and that was the norm but now they run 3D films in IMAX every week. The 40 minute run time really restricts this film, not allowing it a chance to spread it wings or paws in this case.  It feels rushed and right when it gets good, it ends. This would have benefited greatly if expanded for 90 minutes, like the Disneynature films.  
"To The Arctic" takes you on a never before seen journey through the power of the IMAX lens into the lives of a mother polar bear and her two seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. Captivating adventurous and intimate footage brings you up close and personal with this family's struggle to survive in a frigid and dynamic environment of melting ice, immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and majestic snow-bound peaks.
The film gets it voice from three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, who provides narration. The film was shot on location in the Arctic Circle in the IMAX 3-D format. The 3D really does a great job of adding another layer, which is a relief because of the over-saturation of that format now-a-days. It adds quite a bit of depth to the Arctic and makes you feel like you are right there with them. The film is written and edited by Stephen Judson, who worked on the award-winning "Everest". Possibly the best part of the film, is the music. The score is very well done by Steve Wood and contains seven songs by Sir Paul McCartney. There were two songs from his span with Wings including "I'm Carrying" and "Big Pop". There is Cirque du Soleil's "LOVE" version of "Because". "Mr Bellamy" from his 2007 album "Memory Almost Full". "Calico Skies" and "Little Willow" appear from his 1997 album, "Flaming Pie". And finally, a nice cover of "Maybe I'm Amazed" in the end credits.
Warner Bros. really delivers a very impressive release here with "To The Arctic". The release comes as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet digital streaming copy. The Blu-ray copy also comes as a 3D version. The 3D version translates well and luckily it is one of those films that can be enjoyed either way without losing too much.  he 1080p transfer looks very sharp within its 1.78:1 aspect ratio, though it would have been interesting to see them keep the IMAX aspect ratio. The DTS-HD Master Audio works perfectly with the music, especially Paul McCartney's tunes. Don't be surprised if you find yourself cranking up the volume on your TV during the scenes which feature his music.
The special features are good and to be honest it's surprising they even had extras. That doesn't mean they're unwelcome. There are a four featurettes included to round out this release. The first is "A  Polar Bear Family" and takes a closer look at the stars of the film.  "To The Arctic with Meryl Streep" is a chat with the actresses and narrator of the film.  "The Challenge of Filming in the Arctic" is exactly what it sounds like. The last is called "Welcome to the Arctic", which takes us on a journey through the frozen part of our world. Lastly, there is a trailer included.
Like most animal-friendly documentary films, "To the Arctic" can be enjoyed by everyone. Just don't be surprised when you're kids can't stop talking about polar bears.  

Purchase your copy of "To the Arctic" today from Amazon.com

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