Disney’s The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (Blu-ray)
If you are seeking a film full of beautiful images, fantastic music and with soothing narration, look no further for Disney brings you THE CRIMSON WING: THE MYSTERY OF THE FLAMINGOS. In this film, we are transported to northern Tanzania, home of Lake Natron, birthplace of the flamingo.
This is no ordinary documentary, rather, a story of the life cycle and mystery surrounding the pink bird. The breathtaking scenery in this untouched landscape set the stage for remarkable cinematography.
One of the main characters in this film is Lake Natron, the impressive body of water that mirrors the heavens making it impossible to see where sea sky separate, the place the nomadic birds return to each year to find their mate for the season and where life begins for each flamingo. This lake changes colors with the seasons, from the palest blue to a fiery red, is incredibly hot and full of salt and ash from nearby volcanoes making it virtually impossible for wildlife to survive here, the exception being the flamingo.
The music throughout this movie establishes the emotion and connection to the birds and the hardships they face from the natural elements and predators. I love the tunes when they are seeking out their mate at the beginning; it gives the illusion that the flamingos are dancing the tango gliding across the lake. The Cinematic Orchestra did a superb job with each scenario creating just the right sound to set the tone and to enhance this impressive look at nature. The directors made a good choice with their music and narration selections. The narration was the right amount; any more or any less would have made this boring.
The film provoked a wide range of emotions, from cooing at the new born chicks, screaming at the TV when the chicks were attacked by assorted predators and feeling helpless when the birds would get “salt shackles” from the salt water drying on their little legs causing them to be too slow to stay with the group therefore being left behind.
Various times throughout the story I was convinced that the filmmakers were about to wrap up but the story continued on like they didn’t want it to be over just yet. I on the other hand was ready for a conclusion. It went on about twenty minutes longer than I felt necessary and though the shots were gorgeous, music brilliant and flamingos charming, the story had been told and should have ended. Despite the extra amount of time it took to wrap up this look into the life of a flamingo, I found this beautiful film to be entertaining and educational.
Video: (1.85:1 Widescreen) One word: amazing.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) Perfect for the beautiful music that accompanies the film.
Living Planet: Explore DisneyNature by selecting hot spots around the earth, learning about various environments and animals. Presented by some of the world’s leading conservationists and nature filmmakers this feature will update with new content every month if your Blu-ray player is connected to the internet.
Filmmaker Annotations: Fascinating commentary primarily featuring directors Matthew Aberhard, Leander Ward and writer Melanie Finn. Majority of commentary is in a picture-in-picture square in the corner of your screen and mixed between head shot anecdotes from the crew we see behind the scenes footage. By far one of the coolest annotations I have ever seen. Also throughout this feature, educational pop-ups come up at the bottom of your screen providing more trivia and knowledge about the flamingos.
Lake Natron Diaries: Behind The Crimson Wing(19:42): It brings me great delight and joy to announce this feature has a play all button! This series of behind-the-scenes documentaries, created by the filmmakers, gives an inside look at what it took to film at Lake Natron and create THE CRIMSON WING.
If you wish to view each of these behind-the-scenes montages individually, there are five total but I highly recommend utilizing the play all feature as the mini-documentaries flow from one to the next nicely. Life At The Camp: The filmmakers lived in an old missionary house on the southeast corner of the lake, exposed to the elements and the dreaded heat from Lake Natron. Life Of The Flamingo: A bit more detail on the flamingo from the cast and crew point of view. The filmmakers seem to be in awe of the beautiful mysterious creature. The fascinating life of this bird had everything they needed to tell a story.
Making Of: This is a look into the filming of THE CRIMSON WING and we learn how they were able to get up close and personal with the birds. Crew members would have to set up their filming stations during the night and each day would move a little bit closer to the birds. They also used a hover craft to get footage that had never before been captured, specifically the nests on the salt flats. I found this part to be the most interesting of the Lake Natron Diaries. Lake Natron: A phenomenal place to be, fly over, experience according to the cast and crew. This made me feel like I was in geography class with teachers that are very passionate about the subject matter. Music: The filmmaker’s decision to use music in a different way for their production to be more like a feature film than documentary.
The Crimson Wing Screensaver (5:13): Don’t have time to watch the whole movie? In less than 10 minutes you can get a quick glimpse into the movie and the majestic nature of Lake Natron and the beauty of the flamingos with amazing music to accompany the montage of scenes. By far my most favorite feature on this blu-ray; it is tranquil, relaxing, breathtaking, and soothing wrapped up in one.