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2007-07-27 - 10:33 p.m.

I went to see Arctic Tale today--in a nice air-conditioned theater.

As with everything lately, I had a complicated reaction to it...on the one hand, its heart is totally in the right place. It's a global warming warning aimed at kids and animal lovers, and its message is sobering.

As a documentary, it soars and fails in equal measure. The footage of polar bears, walruses, narwhals, foxes, penguins and other Arctic fauna is unbelievable. Not just stunning camera work, but serendipitous natural events captured on film--battles between natural enemies, the tearful parting of mama bear and almost-grown cub, the dramatic deaths of a few main "characters," playful mating shots, and outrageously cute shots of baby animals frolicking and lolling and snuggling that makes Cute Overload look like Send Me your Wound (uh, don't click that.)

On the minus side, it's aimed at kids, and strives to be folksy and nice and on the Jersey side of realistic, so there are silly sound effects, a dorky soundtrack, and a jokey voice over by Queen Latifah heavy on the slang.

Overall, though, it is an extremely emotional film. I had to hold back tears in a couple of spots, and involuntarily cried out in sympathetic anguish or pain or joy at various junctures.

Anyway, long story short: the ice is melting. The polar bears are starving.

thoughts? (2 comments so far)

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