Life Story is both real and magical. The six part series narrated by Sir David Attenborough and produced by the Emmy-award winning team that made Life tells one captivating story encompassing birth, survival, life, procreation and death. This is one informative and intense show where amazing insights are offered and the viewer can sit back and feel a part of it all. This means it’s almost like you’re a fly on the wall or in the passenger seat and along for one wild adventure.

The program is shot on detailed, Ultra HD cameras. This allows the filmmakers to get up close and personal with the animals and keep things real and at their level. The two most amazing feats they managed to capture were a spider the size of a fingernail and a small Japanese puffer fish engaging in their own separate and stellar courtship rituals. The show is a testament to the patience, dedication and determination of the filmmakers (who are occasionally shown at the end of each episode for a brief “making of” segment). It is thanks to them and tireless years of filmmaking that they have managed to capture things that have not previously been seen.

Life Story is broken up into different segments. In ‘First Steps’ we are introduced to baby animals as they start life. In Greenland some barnacle geese are born at the top of a 400 metre cliff. At just a few days old (and before they’ve learnt to fly) they are forced to jump off the cliffs to join their parents to search for food. Only some of the goslings survive the jump while others face death and harm by their predator, the Arctic fox. It’s gut-wrenching stuff to watch.

The episodes are all expertly narrated by Sir Attenborough who offers insightful commentary on the animals’ behaviours, at times conveying real humour, emotion, joy and sorrow. Some elephants in the final episode are shown lightly touching the bones of a long-deceased matriarch in a particularly poignant moment. In other episodes Attenborough warns us about how being overly confident can contribute to your death. It reinforces the idea that Mother Nature is not always kind to her charges.

The special features are great and include an interview with Sir Attenborough as well as numerous short featurettes. They give the viewer an even greater appreciation and understanding of the time and effort that was invested into crafting this finely-detailed art. It also celebrates the new behaviours that have been captured for the first time in all their glory.

This is one captivating series in natural history and celebrates nature in all its majesty. It offers some thrilling and real moments and manages to also pack a lot into its runtime. In all, this is one extreme rollercoaster through the wild and woolly world of animals and manages to strike the right balance between objective facts and sentimental feelings and emotions. We can learn a heck of a lot from this particular walk with the animals.


Originally published on 24 November 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/life-story-dvd-review/

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