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

And So It Goes
Film Review: And So It Goes

As generic as its title, this comedy squarely aimed at "mature" audiences may find itself roundly rejected by seniors, if they have any taste. More »

Lucy
Film Review: Lucy

Drugs unleash the full potential of the brain with tragic results in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure. More »

Magic in the Moonlight
Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Slight Woody Allen period romance is enlivened by appealing leads Colin Firth and Emma Stone. More »

Wish I Was Here
Film Review: Wish I Was Here

A failing actor learns that his father is dying in Zach Braff's Kickstarter-funded feature. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Lucy
Film Review: Lucy

Drugs unleash the full potential of the brain with tragic results in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure. More »

Magic in the Moonlight
Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Slight Woody Allen period romance is enlivened by appealing leads Colin Firth and Emma Stone. 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