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Winged Migration (2001)

Le peuple migrateur (original title)
Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Writers:

(collaboration), | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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This documentary introduces the viewer of "Winged Migration" to the people behind what its makers call "the tale," a combination of fiction and truth. The movie was storyboarded and the ... See full summary »

Director: Olli Barbé
Stars: Jacques Perrin
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Cast

Credited cast:
Philippe Labro ...
Narrator (English version)
...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

This documentary follows several species of migratory birds over a four year filming period. These birds travel several hundreds if not thousands of miles toward the equator in the autumn, and make the return journey to their higher latitude summer homes in the spring, always taking the same route, using the natural compasses of the universe, the stars, to find their way. Some species, like the arctic tern, even fly from pole to pole. These long and often torturous treks are a matter of survival, to live in a hospitable climate and find sources of food. With the exception of migratory penguins, travel over oceans is especially difficult as the birds have little refuge unless there is something floating on the water, such as a ship, on which to land. Otherwise they must continue flying until they reach land. Some will not survive the migration due to predators, including man, illness or injury. Although the migrations themselves are done as a community, once the birds reach their ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

29 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Winged Migration  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,402,605 (France) (14 December 2001)

Gross:

$10,762,178 (USA) (12 December 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacques Perrin says in his commentary that his team tried to include emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in the film, but weather conditions interfered, so they had to be satisfied with king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) instead. Some years later, the makers of March of the Penguins (2005) succeeded in making an emperor penguin movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The story of bird migration is the story of promise - a promise to return.
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Connections

Featured in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Tambour Battant
("Beating Drums")
Music Composed and orchestrated by Bruno Coulais
(P) & © 2001 Galatée Films
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User Reviews

 
The Birds, Revisited.
17 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

When documentaries fail to show humans and human events it's almost enough to put the audience to sleep by default (except of course, those who get excited at the mere suggestion of shows like "Nova" or educational programmes sponsored by the Mutual of Omaha).

WINGED MIGRATION doesn't essentially need or looks to inform us what we probably know already: that birds migrate, and in doing so, ensure their own species. But what it does show us is a continuous yet striking montage of birds of different species flying among oceans, mountains, skies, land... we see them through their points of view, while throughout there is the barest suggestion of a plot here and there as inevitably one bird either gets lost in flight, lands in a ship, gets caught in toxic waste (of which it may not escape alive as the others, obeying that instinctual law of moving on, depart), gets disoriented and injured and becomes food for hungry crabs, or even captured by humans to become pets. Beautiful, sometimes moving images that shows us a quiet cycle of life, death, and reproduction, which will stay with the viewer long after the credits have rolled.


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