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Arctic Tale
BLU-RAY disk
Apr 17, 2009 By: Sturdy
Arctic Tale order
Director:
Adam Ravetch, Sarah Robertson

Actors:
Queen Latifah

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
We follow the life adventures of a polar cub and a walrus pup as they struggle to survive in the fierceness of their environment.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Cute…that about sums up the film. This isn’t a great movie, or even a good one, but it’s cute and has some wonderful visuals. One thing that might help you enjoy the film is to properly set your expectations before you go into it. The previews want to make it out to be MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, but with polar bears and that’s not what this is. March had a point and was actually a real movie. This is closer to WINGED MIGRATION in that it isn’t really interesting, but it has some great shots and is pretty to look at.

The problems come because I don’t think anyone involved with the film realized what they had. So it ends up falling somewhere between a documentary and a Planet Earth type film. They also tried waaaayyyyy too hard to evoke emotions from the audience. Scenes are tailor made to get you to cry, or to be sad, or to laugh, or to go “aaawwwhhhh”. That got a little old pretty fast. Queen Latifah just read what was in front of her, but she should have backhanded the writer a few times because some of her dialogue was pretty bad.

There’s also a lot of contradictions in the movie. First, the “heroes” of the film are pretty much enemies in the real world and at one point, we actually see the polar bears eat a seal, which could make this confusing to a kid. Then, we have the jovial tone that Queen Latifah takes with her narration even though the film focuses strongly on the global warming that’s killing these cute animals we’re watching, not to mention the natural animal kingdom violence that's taking place. So all of this goes back to the point that I don’t think the filmmakers knew what they had, or what they wanted with this film.

Personally, I actually enjoyed the disc. Notice I said “disc” and not “movie”. As a movie, it leaves a lot to be desired. But I was excited to review the film because I was eager to watch it on Blu-ray. It has a lot of great visuals and the animals are pretty darn cute. The video quality is top-notch and if you’ve invested any amount of money into your system, you’ll enjoy watching this Blu-ray. But maybe you should hit the mute button to avoid listening to the dialogue.
THE EXTRAS
Making of Arctic Tale (24:07): This is one of the better making-of featurettes you’ll find. It shows a lot of footage with the filmmakers on location with some of the animals and in their habitat. I really liked watching what they went through and it showed that they were really passionate about what they were doing.

Are we There Yet? (7:03): Some kids made a trip to find some polar bears and they narrated this featurette. This is for little kids, so skip over it.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I wouldn’t recommend a blind-buy here, but if you like nature films and can stomach Latifah’s narration, it’s not bad. The movie is actually pretty lame, but it’s visually pleasing. Just look at it as a nature show and not a movie.
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