YELLOWSTONE: BATTLE FOR LIFE
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Warner Bros. has released a new compilation of the fantastic BBC series “Earth.” This three-part release focuses on the majesty of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The episodes represent three main seasons: Winter, Summer and Autumn. The struggles of the wildlife to live in these varied seasons is chronicled in this shows, bringing out the fascinating aspects of America’s oldest national park.
WHAT I LIKED
Without fail, BBC’s “Earth” is one of the best documentary series I have seen in years. The photography is brilliant, and the scope of the series is worthy of its name.
The “Yellowstone: Battle for Life” does not disappoint for the fan of the series. The aerial photography shows the volcanic colors of the park, and it also provides a bird’s eye view of the animals’ migratory patterns.
The three-part series breaks down the lives of the different creatures that inhabit Yellowstone – not just focusing on bears, bison and elk – but also giving play to the pronghorns, the otters, the beavers and even the squirrels. Because it’s a nature series, less of the focus is on the actual volcanism beneath the surface, although that is covered for the historic context.
Rather, this documentary focuses on the animals living in Yellowstone Park and how they deal with the changing seasons. Having been to Yellowstone before, I have a greater appreciation for this documentary because it takes the viewer father than he or she will have traveled themselves. I don’t care if you have back-packed into the wilderness, you will not have likely seen the smackdown between a male and female grizzly bear (and if you had, you’re probably in their bellies and not reading this).
When I first saw the title of this release, I cringed a bit. The assumption was that this was going to focus on environmental concerns about the creatures trying to struggle in Yellowstone under the oppression of man’s effect on the Earth. This is a message that gets pretty tedious if you watch enough nature documentaries, and I was relieved to see that the battle was between the animals and the harsh bite of mother nature.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There’s very little to complain about when it comes to these BBC Earth documentaries. My only sticking point with the “Yellowstone: Battle for Life” DVD was that only three of the seasons were covered. Sure, Yellowstone has a relatively short spring, which is why is was rolled up into the summer episode, but it seems that four seasons would have made more sense.
The DVD release of “Yellowstone: Battle for Life” includes three ten-minute spotlights on some of the people who help maintain the Yellowstone Park. One feature looks at a man in charge of removing snow from the buildings during the winter (which is a much more daunting task than you might imagine). Another looks at the “Geyser Gazers,” who monitor the eruptions of Yellowstone’s many geysers in order to better predict their behavior. The third looks at the sound recorder who likes to spend his free time swimming in the Yellowstone River.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Nature documentary junkies.