Born To Be Wild
"Born to Be Wild" is one of the strongest nature documentaries to date from IMAX. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the plot follows two reserves: One for elephants and one for orangutans. At each location, workers live among the animals and raise them until they independently assimilate back into the wild. Symbiotic bonds in interspecies living quarters result in family structures that combine human and non-human animals in an essentially equal way. It’s a heartwarming, eccentric, and highly effective spin on the concept of conservation.
Viewers are given a front-row seat from birth to the animals’ migration, completely natural and unforced by a production crew. Footage of young orangutans socializing and playing in the wild with seeming disregard for the cameras highlights the effort taken by the crew to be as non-intrusive to these creatures as possible. By being ever-present without becoming invasive, cameras caught stellar footage of events not usually captured on film. One standout scene involves the rescue of an orphan elephant that’s fallen in among a pack of grown elephants and has to be herded out by human workers.
The footage captured by IMAX’s state-of-the-art cameras is breathtaking. Films like this accentuate the value of the Blu-ray format, as mind-boggling clarity and lightning-speed frame-rate immerse viewers within these rich environments. "Born to Be Wild" takes full advantage of Blu-ray’s 1080p high definition visual rendering. With every leaf crunch and twig snap captured by IMAX’s equally impressive audio recording technology, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 transfer surpasses the already high expectations of the Blu-ray format.
While the film itself is impressive, the supplemental material is not. With only six short webisodes already available to the public, this Blu-ray doesn’t boast a single exclusive piece of bonus material. Also a bit unnerving: The studio didn’t even take the time to erase ’3-D’ from the opening title on the 2-D version.
Those disappointments aside, no amount of extras can compete with top-notch filmmaking and state-of-the-art digital presentation. "Born to Be Wild" is a stellar film worth experiencing on Blu-ray.