Thu 11 Jun 2009
DVD Release Date: 06/02/2009
Narrator: David Attenborough
Using footage culled from hours upon hours of video shot for the Planet Earth mini-series, which also spawned the disappointing feature documentary, “Earth“, “Nature’s Most Amazing Events” gathers together six of the more impressive segments and places them on DVD for home enjoyment.
Rather than get the American narrator used in the feature film, James Earl Jones, the DVD goes with the quintessential British voice, Sir David Attenborough. His dulcet tones are so perfect for this type of venture, managing to be authoritative and interesting without resorting to cheap emotional pandering.
The footage is gorgeously presented and a great use of that expensive flat screen sitting in your living room. This is the type of nature documentary that’s perfect for kids, feeding their interest and love of the animal kingdom. Each segment presents fascinating stories and are long enough to tell a whole story, but not so long as to overstay its welcome.
Frankly, there’s only one real reason I’m not giving the DVD a full 5 out of 5 and its the packaging. I know it doesn’t really have anything to do with the presentation but if you’re going to go to such great lengths to provide amazing nature video, don’t slap the 2-disc set in crappy cardboard. Give the consumer a nice, plastic case to cherish the DVD for years to come without fear of squishing the production. Also, I can’t really justify giving a perfect score to a DVD that truly only has one special feature – the video diaries for each segment. Sure, each are great to watch and a wonderful extra, but maybe the ability to see more raw footage or some highlight packages showcasing the tremendous actions of the animals could have been included to beef up the additional content.
Stereo sound. Wide Screen 16:9 Enhanced.
—– This is the only extra on the disc but it does provide some very interesting viewing. Each segment of the DVD includes one of these diaries, which is footage of the crew who worked to gather the footage. While it may not be what the little ones want to watch as the focus is more about the people’s efforts to get the shot, I found it very interesting to see what they went through in order to present such stunning footage.
The Sobering Conclusion:
Aside from its lack of an all-animal gag reel (which would have been nice), the only thing I can really knock the DVD for is it’s sub-standard packaging (at least on the standard version), which is flimsy card stock. The timeless nature of the presentation deserved a more sturdy case. And yes, normally I’d be kicking and screaming about the scarcity of extras but the nature of the film doesn’t really lend itself to the usual special features one expects on DVDs so I’m neither surprised or all that perturbed.
The beautiful imagery makes the Blu-ray version the better choice but even on standard DVD, this looks fantastic. With over 300 minutes of footage to enjoy, fans of this genre and/or parents of young children will find this to be a great addition to their DVD shelves.