Wednesday, August 13, 2014


If you're watching a wildlife documentary, you expect a few things. Firstly, you expect wonderful  photography and amazing close-ups whether you're looking at an elephant or following a centipede. Generally you expect voice-over - sometimes someone like Stephen Fry reading the script, or sometimes you get the narrator on camera, like David Attenborough. You don't really expect a plot, except perhaps a loose one where you're following a group of animals over the course of a season or a migration.

Amazonia gives you the fabulous photography. It also happens to be 3D, but I don't think that adds much. It doesn't have any narration at all, which was mostly a pleasure, except when I was wondering what the particular creature I was looking at was. It does, however, have a plot. A capuchin monkey is being transported in a small plane, and the plane goes down in the rainforest in a thunderstorm. The pilot climbs out, never to be seen again, and there is the monkey, languishing in its cage with only its toy monkey for company. the next morning an enterprising mongoose unlatches the cage and the monkey is free to explore the forest.

The exploring monkey is cute and provides a nice vehicle for showing off assorted other wildlife. Walking around on the forest floor it encounters spiders, snakes and frogs. Climbing the trees, it meets other monkeys and birds of prey. Floating down the river on a clump of plant matter it encounters alligators and dolphins sloths. Then there's the encounter with a jaguar. Just to remind you that this is an animal we're looking at, the monkey gets involved in predation and takes and eats a bunch of birds' eggs out of some nests.

Generally speaking it's all good fun, and my only criticism is that the selection of wildlife did seem a little contrived  -our monkey friend didn't run into the same species twice - it was always something new. And as I said, I did wish from time-to-time that Stephen Fry was there to tell me what the amazing bird with the multi-coloured turkey-like head was. My favourite animal was the baby ( or pygmy) armadillo which was completely endearing and the thing I learned was how close to Rio de Janeiro the rainforest comes.

Amazonia 3D is what it says on the box, an amazing photographic experience packaged in a story about a small monkey.

Anne's rating 3.5/5

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