Madagascar [Blu-Ray]

Madagascar [Blu-Ray]
Not to reduce or diminish the impressively rendered and comprehensive BBC Earth miniseries on Madagascar, but there isn't much more to it than an abundance of lemurs of all shapes and sizes living in various habitats, eating various poisonous plants and larvae. Occasionally, one will go into heat for a couple of days, ostensibly standing on a tree or rock and letting dozens of male lemurs take a pop. And in case this three-part series on lemurs, with the occasional mongoose, frog or newt, wasn't enough, there's an hour-long special feature titled "Lemurs of Madagascar," with Charlotte Uhlenbroek, wherein she wanders around with the creatures and makes really broad, prosaic statements about their wonder and mystique. Much like the David Attenborough narration throughout the actual miniseries, she dotes on a similar theme of ecosystem instability, as the growing presence of man and farming is impeding on the sensitive nature of the lemur way of life, encroaching on their food sources. We never see any examples of this during the series, given the focus on high definition close-ups and expansive landscape shots of rarely filmed locales, but we get the gist through repetition in narration. Beyond this environmental plea and the dominant focus on the few mammals present in Madagascar, we learn about some of the unique plant life in the country, which either entrap insects drawn in by sweet nectar or actually use lemurs to spread their pollination by emitting a sweet flavour. As always, this is filmed with impressive definition and clarity, showing detailed close-ups of insects, tadpoles and plants that are less than three centimetres in size. Also included with the Blu-Ray set is a documentary short titled "Attenborough and the Giant Egg," which details his exploration of giant egg shards to discover the fate of one of the largest birds to ever roam the planet. There are also mini-diaries at the end of each episode that detail some of the struggles the film crew had while filming, such as soaked equipment and complicated setups. (Warner)