Last night, AJ, Reese and I sat down for an uninterrupted hour and a half. I didn’t do laundry. I didn’t blog.
We watched bees and birds and bats.
There were a lot of oohs and ewws and WOs! And there was a ton of learning.
Just in time for Earth Day 2013, Disneynature has released their latest film, Wings of Life. Over the last several years, corresponding with Earth Day each year, Disneynature has produced the incredible and inspiring “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee.” I had the thrill of participating in the world premiere event for Chimpanzee last April, and was excited to hear about this year’s new installment.
About Disneynature’s Wings of Life
Wings of Life is a visually stunning, high-definition super-close look at the world of butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and bats, and their (human) life sustaining collaboration with flowers. Wings of Life was directed by Louie Schwartzberg (“America’s Heart & Soul”) and narrated by Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep, and is available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital and On Demand today, April 16, 2013 — just in time for Earth Day.
Speaking of the movie, narrator Meryl Streep said, “In the chaos and craziness of our day-to-day lives, few of us stop to consider what’s happening behind the scenes in nature that makes our lives possible. This film is a stunning adventure that literally takes flight alongside all kinds of winged creatures — butterflies, bees and bats — each working hard to pollinate our planet.”
Director Louie Schwartzberg said, “For me, the joy of doing this film is to be able to explore worlds that humans can’t easily experience—bats sipping nectar in the middle of the desert at night, orchid bees expertly manipulated by a bucket orchid, exotic hummingbirds flying like airborne dancers, and a clustering monarch colony with millions of butterflies. I hope to share the spectacle of nature and to spark in others the sense of wonder I have about the natural world.”
Wings of Life used multiple cameras, both time-lapse and high-speed, and plenty of time and patience to capture amazing detail in the lives of some of our favorite winged friends. Wings of Life production used the best digital cameras — one capable of up to 1500 frames per second, and another which used a pinhole lens, allowing the cameraman to get within millimeters of an insect (while still retaining a clear view of the background). As a photographer who loves to capture still shots of nature, I was blown away by the color, clarity, and detail that they were able to capture on the film.
Who Will Love Disneynature’s Wings of Life?
My 7 and 10 year old were both fascinated by the winged animals on the screen, especially since my son’s 2nd grade class is currently growing their own batch of caterpillars and butterflies. He loved seeing an up-close and personal view of the same creatures that he’s studying in school (I even considered lending the DVD to the second grade team). By the end of the movie, AJ was asking if he could get some more caterpillars for his birthday.
Wings of Life is perfect for kids of all ages – especially those who love nature and bees and other flying creatures (In case you’re worried or curious – there are no spiders). Wings of Life will teach as well as inspire, but it’s not an animated song-and-dance movie.
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF)
To celebrate the debut of “Wings of Life,” Disneynature has made a contribution to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) to protect pollinators worldwide. The DWCF has already supported more than 20 projects across North America focused on protecting pollinators and their habitats. Grants have helped conservationists save endangered butterflies, expand habitat for honeybees and educate children about the importance of pollinators and how they can help protect them.
Special sneak peek of “Bears”
The “Wings of Life” Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a sneak peek at Disneynature’s 2014 “Bears,” which will premiere on the big screen. “Bears” follows two mother grizzly bears and their experiences and life lessons with their impressionable young cubs and is set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop. I can’t wait for it to come out next Earth Day!
Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first four Disneynature films, “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee,” are four of the top five highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Chimpanzee” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre.
Disney’s commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and Disneynature films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening-week attendance for all four films, Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, has planted three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya, protected nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat, educated 60,000 school children about chimpanzee conservation and cared for chimpanzees.
Follow Disneynature on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature and on Twitter: @Disneynature.
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of Disneynature’s Wings of Life at the Monster’s University press event last week but no compensation has been received. All thoughts about the movie are my own.
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