In the far south of Japan, there is a chain of islands stretching towards the tropics - a place where all life is influenced by the power of the sea, and where volcanoes and typhoons are forces to be...
British biologist and military veteran Steve Backshall visits the Arabian peninsula to film its surprisingly rich and varied wildlife. Contrary to its desert reputation, Arabia comprises ... See full summary »
Hadi Al Hikmani,
Abdullah Al Shuhi
In this landmark series, the BBC Natural History Unit explores a vast ocean that stretches nearly 10,000 miles, from Arctic to Antarctic and from sun-drenched tropical reefs to crushing abyssal depths.
A documentary series on life in and adapted to the conditions of the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean, a vast aquatic region with an unequaled number of islands. Both wildlife and human ... See full summary »
Monty Halls explores Australia's Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world and the largest living structure on our planet. Monty explores its full 2000-kilometre length, ... See full summary »
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Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough's lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them ... See full summary »
The Great Rift Valley in Africa was created when the African and Arabian tectonic plates separated about 35 million years ago. This series investigates the forces that created the rift and focuses on the landscape and wildlife.
Am a big fan of nature documentaries, especially the work of David Attenborough. Having been recommended 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' through Amazon, it was instantly put down on my list as a must see. Also heard nothing but praise for it, so that further sparked interest.
'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' is as good as others on Amazon have said and there is not much to add, actually feeling much more than just a documentary. Throughout it's an awe-inspiring, utterly transfixing experience where one forgets they're watching a documentary and instead feeling like they're watching art. This may sound like extreme hyperbole, but to me 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' is completely deserving of its praise and even deserving of more.
It is hard knowing when to start with the praise. 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' for starters looks enchanting, reasons enough to make book a trip to see the more naturalistic parts of Japan. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The scenery and habitats are some of the most breath-taking personally seen anywhere, whether in visual media and real life. The rich colours just leap out and the scenery from this part of the world has rarely looked more beautiful. The music here is a remarkably good fit, throughout it not only complements the visuals but enhances them and there is an authentic flavour to it.
What of the narrative and information aspects? Can't fault 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' in this aspect either. The narration has a great well-balanced mix of facts that will be familiar to the viewer and others that will induce the right amount of surprise. In short, it's just fascinating, informative and thoughtful.
From start to finish, 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' managed to intrigue and illuminate, and there is a freshness to the material, not feeling derivative of anything. The narration is delivered articulately by Michelle Dockery, there's an enthusiasm and precision about the delivery and it never feels preachy.
The wildlife themselves are a wonderful mix of the adorable and the dangerous, and one actually finds they're rooting for them in exactly the same way they would a human character. Not just that we also see how humans interact and adapt which was just as great and interesting to watch. There is a good deal of suspense and emotional impact. There are some scenes where one is amazed that they managed to be filmed in the first place, like with the snakes.
In all the three episodes, 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands' feels much more than a series and it doesn't feel episodic or repetitive. The episodes instead feel like their own story, without being too reliant on that approach, with real, complex emotions and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.
Overall, really enchanting. Shame that it didn't last longer. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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