The Crimson Wing – Mystery of the Flamingos, Blu-ray + DVD (2010)
Directors: Matthew Aeberhard & Leander Ward
Studio: Natural Light/Kudos Pictures/Walt Disney Studios 100723 [10/19/10]
Music by The Cinematic Orchestra
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: “Lake Natron Diaries: Behind The Crimson Wing,” “Living Planet: Explore the Earth” (interactive via BD-Live), Filmmaker annotations, The Crimson Wing screensaver, BD-Live
Length: 78 minutes
Another glorious nature feature – this one may remind many viewers of the wonderful March of the Penguins by the French filmmakers back in 2005. Only this time the focus is on the regal pink birds, in one of nature’s great mysteries. I had no idea that a million flamingos congregate at Tanzania’s desolate Lake Natron every year to mate and have chicks. Or that they fly in white and slowly assume their familiar pink color as a result of eating the red algae in the lake.
The entire spectacle is really amazing to watch. There are also even more examples of the occasional harshness of nature than in the companion Blu-ray, Oceans. Some of the baby flamingos and also eggs are attacked and eaten by storks, wild dogs and other enemies. The huge processions of the flamingos – both chicks and adults – are something to see, having a lot in common with the long penguin processions in that other film. There is some brief commentary on the soundtrack from a female voice, who doesn’t receive much credit except in the final roll-thru. The music is very appropriate and there’s not a single note of flamingo guitar in it (that error in terms is not that unusual, by the way).
Images are totally gorgeous and inspiring. The bonus items are good, but still left me with many questions about the flamingos – such as how the ones in Florida, for example, get their pink color? And where do all these flamingos go when they’re not at the lake? Slogging thru the many before-film Disney previews and promotions was again a frustrating task, but well worth it for this superb nature feature.
— John Sunier