Amazonia (2016)

A wonderful introduction to the wonders of the Amazon rainforest.

Amazonia (2016)

Narrator: Martin Sheen
Director: Thierry Ragobert
Studio:  Grindstone/ Lionsgate (10/4/16) Also available in 3D
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 screens, color
Audio: English DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extras: The Making of Amazonia, 4 Minuscule Bonus Episodes, Trailer gallery
Length: 93 min.
Rating: ****

What the French (with some Brazilians) went thru during the many months it took to film this epic with heavy new 3D cameras, probably no other countries’ crew of filmmakers would stand for. There were constant temperatures of 110 degrees and 100% humidity, and it rained constantly from October thru May. And they ruined 15 of their heavy generators due to the cutting of gasoline in the Amazon by other solvents. And this was not just a travelogue of the Amazon but a fiction film of the story of a little capuchin monkey originally raised and fed by a family in captivity who becomes stranded in the Amazon rainforest when the single-engine plane he is being transferred in crashes in the jungle.

The only thing that makes this wonderful film (I would love to see it in 3D) not quite a 5-star vote is the narration by Martin Sheen. Too bad they couldn’t get Morgan Freeman. He (and the English translation of the original French soundtrack) makes it seem too much like a Disney travelogue film.   The scenery is truly breathtaking and the tale of the little monkey, who must learn to get food and avoid predators is quite interesting. It’s certainly better than Madagascar and almost as good as March of the Penguins. The four Minuscule Episodes are also worth watching – an unusual use of animation mixed with live action. But this film is not animation.

John Sunier

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