Reviews - Major Releases


Film Review: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Scientists fight to preserve lemur habitats on Madagascar in this kid-friendly IMAX documentary.

April 3, 2014

-By Daniel Eagan


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1397498-Island_of_Lemurs_Md.jpg
The oldest members of the primate family, lemurs could be the cutest as well. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar showcases several families and species while raising some basic environmental concerns. School kids will have more fun watching this than their parents.
With Morgan Freeman providing the narration, Island of Lemurs explains that lemurs date to the dinosaur era, and became "nature's greatest explorers" when they made their way from Africa to Madagascar—the only location where they can now be found.

By the time humans reached Madagascar some 2,000 years ago, lemurs had evolved into hundreds of species. But in searching for grazing land, humans have destroyed 90 percent of the island's forests, endangering the surviving lemurs.

Scientists like Dr. Patricia C. Wright, a former social worker and primatologist who has devoted decades to lemurs, have brought attention to the island's environmental problems. Wright was instrumental in the formation of the Ranomafana National Park, home to some 15 species of lemur.

The lemurs look cuddly and adorable— like meerkats who can climb—but seem a bit limited on the personality side. Director and cinematographer David Douglas has to doctor some footage to make it seem as if the lemurs are "dancing," evoking the dubious science of the old Disney nature documentaries from the 1950s.

Along with lemurs jumping, resting, eating and playing, Douglas offers stunning vistas of the Madagascar countryside and several scenes of Dr. Wright admiring her subjects. "Would they fall in love?" she asks in an unfortunately pallid voiceover.

Parents might disagree when Freeman opines, "The best stories in Nature are the ones that never end," especially when sitting through the movie's Malagasy versions of "Be My Baby" and "I Will Survive." Island of Lemurs gives out just enough information to justify school trips, but not enough to merit return visits.

Click here for cast & crew information.


Film Review: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Scientists fight to preserve lemur habitats on Madagascar in this kid-friendly IMAX documentary.

April 3, 2014

-By Daniel Eagan


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1397498-Island_of_Lemurs_Md.jpg

The oldest members of the primate family, lemurs could be the cutest as well. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar showcases several families and species while raising some basic environmental concerns. School kids will have more fun watching this than their parents.
With Morgan Freeman providing the narration, Island of Lemurs explains that lemurs date to the dinosaur era, and became "nature's greatest explorers" when they made their way from Africa to Madagascar—the only location where they can now be found.

By the time humans reached Madagascar some 2,000 years ago, lemurs had evolved into hundreds of species. But in searching for grazing land, humans have destroyed 90 percent of the island's forests, endangering the surviving lemurs.

Scientists like Dr. Patricia C. Wright, a former social worker and primatologist who has devoted decades to lemurs, have brought attention to the island's environmental problems. Wright was instrumental in the formation of the Ranomafana National Park, home to some 15 species of lemur.

The lemurs look cuddly and adorable— like meerkats who can climb—but seem a bit limited on the personality side. Director and cinematographer David Douglas has to doctor some footage to make it seem as if the lemurs are "dancing," evoking the dubious science of the old Disney nature documentaries from the 1950s.

Along with lemurs jumping, resting, eating and playing, Douglas offers stunning vistas of the Madagascar countryside and several scenes of Dr. Wright admiring her subjects. "Would they fall in love?" she asks in an unfortunately pallid voiceover.

Parents might disagree when Freeman opines, "The best stories in Nature are the ones that never end," especially when sitting through the movie's Malagasy versions of "Be My Baby" and "I Will Survive." Island of Lemurs gives out just enough information to justify school trips, but not enough to merit return visits.

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Major Releases

Penguins of Madagascar
Film Review: Penguins of Madagascar

Frenetic vehicle for supporting players from the Madagascar films will entertain kids but prove a little wearying for their parents. More »

imitation game
Film Review: The Imitation Game

Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. More »

Horrible Bosses 2
Film Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Good for a few laughs, but not much more. More »

Hunger Games - Mockingjay Pt 1
Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Darker, less action-packed first half of the final installment of the popular franchise moves from arenas to rubble aplenty as Jennifer Lawrence’s super-heroine is called upon to serve her beleaguered and much-destroyed nation as propaganda instrument and leader. Fans of the books and previous two films get a less flashy palette here, but the engaging characters and strong story return to stir interest for the scheduled November 2015 finale. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Penguins of Madagascar
Film Review: Penguins of Madagascar

Frenetic vehicle for supporting players from the Madagascar films will entertain kids but prove a little wearying for their parents. More »

imitation game
Film Review: The Imitation Game

Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here