Disneynature: Wings of Life Blu-ray Review
I’ve always been fascinated with all lifeforms that can fly (ironically, I hate flying myself), so I was excited to see Disney’s next installment in their Disneynature series, DISNEYNATURE: WINGS OF LIFE. When you think about lifeforms that can fly, you probably go immediately to birds, maybe eagles, parrots, seagulls, robins or any number of our flying friends. Given the beauty of mother nature and the various creatures that make up this planet, the options are endless when it comes to making a nature film, even if you narrow your scope to creatures with wings. So it’s strange that director Louis Schwartzberg made a film called WINGS OF LIFE and focused the film on the pollination of flowers. As much as I like flowers in person, there’s only so much enjoyment you can get from watching them on TV.
I do love hummingbirds and the video of the hummingbirds was breathtaking. I don’t study birds, but I never knew hummingbirds stayed perfectly still while their wings flapped. We saw plenty of proof of this while Meryl Streep’s voice over explained how hummingbirds contribute to the pollination of various flowers. The hummingbird parts were so interesting that I could have easily watched an entire feature on them alone. But in this feature, they were really the only bird to be appear.
Unfortunately, the parts on bats, bees and the human element were less interesting. Still beautiful, but just not what I want from a feature titled WINGS OF LIFE. On the upside, we did get some interesting anecdotes about the involvement of bats and bees in the pollination process. In the first ten minutes, we watched a flower trap a bee, attach some pollen to its back and then watch that same bee take that pollen to another flower. We also saw a bat spread pollen in the desert, which was also interesting. And I think that was the point of the feature; to show how flowers pollinate and how other creatures get involved in the process. But if that was truly the goal, then why not call it Disneynature: Flowers?
So aside from reminding me to water my plants and fill up my hummingbird feeder, I struggled to get much out of DISNEYNATURE: WINGS OF LIFE. I marveled at the video quality and appreciated some of the visuals, but I was disappointed at the narrow scope and the missed opportunities. I also throw a caution to those that watch this with young children; at the end we get the standard, ominous warning of how the earth is suffering from pollution. Although this is true, little kids could be caught in that trap between understanding the message and not understanding what they can do to help.
Video: By my count, this is the sixth Disneynature film and like its predecessors, the video quality is impeccable. Even if it doesn’t give you what you hoped for, the visuals it does provide are stunning.
Audio: The sound is a constant mix of Meryl Streep’s voice over and background music, which is definitely nothing to brag about. Some of the dialogue is tough to listen to and I would have rather heard the natural nature sounds as opposed to the background music.
The only special feature is a preview of DISNEYNATURE: BEARS