Back Add a Comment Share:
Facebook Button
Feature
Narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, Born to be Wild is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them--saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, Born to be Wild is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

I'm not a particular fan of nature documentaries--or most animals outside of my own dog for that matter--but I found this IMAX presentation of Born to be Wild an absorbing and heartfelt feature, though I have to admit I was in it more for the visuals than the story being told. My wife and son, who on the other hand are both addicted to The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to a disturbing degree, absolutely loved it enough to watch it a few times over the course of several days. The feature's rather brief 41-minute running time will either be a blessing or a curse depending on your innate attitudes towards the material, but even I wouldn't have been unhappy if the running time were a bit longer with the story of the incredible work done by these two women told in greater detail than it is here. The best thing that Born to be Wild does accomplish, however, is bringing some awareness to an important issue, and I would suggest to anyone that finds this documentary at all interesting visit each organization's presence on the Internet (links for which are provided below) as there is far more to the story of these people and the animals that they care for than what is showcased here.

Video
For demo worthy material at home there currently isn't anything better than a feature filmed in IMAX on Blu-ray, and Warner Home Video's Born to be Wild doesn't disappoint. More so than with feature films shot either digitally or with standard film, the IMAX format allows for some stunning visuals, and the filmmakers make sure to frame every shot with a keen eye to get the maximum results that translate to this Blu-ray almost perfectly. The 1.78:1, 1080p AVC-encoded video transfer is incredibly detailed and the vibrant colors and deep blacks really showcase the Borneo and Kenya locations in all their leafy and dusty glories. I couldn't detect any real problems and found no evidence of aliasing, banding or artifacting and edge detail is crisp without any evidence of edge enhancement going on. Overall this is one of the best looking Blu-rays that I've seen in some time.

Audio
Like the video transfer, the included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also a remarkable piece of work. It's every bit as immersive and enveloping as it should be and gives viewers the sense of actually being on location with the filmmakers. There is a really nice use of the surround channels for effects both obvious and ambient, and the LFE channel gets a decent enough work out too. Both the film's dialogue and Morgan Freeman's narration aren't drowned out by all the rustling going on either, making the feature's audio intelligible and easy to follow. Overall this is an excellent audio presentation on Blu-ray.

Extras
The extras included on the Blu-ray are limited to six webisodes presented in high definition with a running time of anywhere between two and three-minutes: "Borneo," "Kenya," "Camp Leakey," "Coming Home to Tsavo," "Wild Filmmaking" and "Caregivers". Though brief these are nice, well produced pieces that add a bit to the feature presentation and should be viewed in conjunction with it, preferably afterwards. The two-disc set also includes a DVD housing a standard definition copy and an UltraViolet digital copy.

Overall
If you enjoy nature documentaries and are an Animal Planet junkie like my wife and son you're bound to like Born to be Wild, and with the extra eye candy on display courtesy of it being filmed in IMAX even those who do not possess a predilection towards this type of entertainment will be in for a treat. The video on the Blu-ray is virtually flawless and incredibly beautiful, the audio is suitably immersive, and while the extra material included is brief it's also informative and well put together. Overall this is a fairly solid package courtesy of Warner Home Video.

* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
 Born To Be Wild
Born To Be Wild - Trailer


Orangutan Foundation International
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust


Links: