A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that birds face peril on land and on the wing. Several are shot, a couple of them are caged, and some are preyed upon by other birds. A Red-Breasted Goose flounders in an oil refinery's effluent and is left behind by the flock in one scene while in another it is implied that a penguin chick is eaten by a scavenger. Young children might be disturbed by the inability of an injured Tern to escape from attacking crabs.
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Is it any good?
Winged Migration is as pretty and light as a feather on the wind; never stopping long enough to get mired down in detail, while always keeping your imagination on the wing. When several geese hitch a ride on a ship's deck during a storm in the middle of a sea, the audience breathes a collective sigh of relief. It is, perhaps, our connection to the birds that is the most interesting achievement of the movie. That we are flesh and they are fowl is irrelevant as they pursue lives as fragile and mesmerizing as any caught on film.
Lovely as it is, there are two aspects of this movie that do not flyL: the soundtrack and the sporadic commentary by director Jacques Perrin. The second-rate New Age soundtrack makes you long for those moments where the only music is beating wings and the raucous honks of our feathered friends. Perrin, who sounds like a bored Jacques Cousteau, provides no insights into the birds when he does feel moved to speak, but plenty of penny ante philosophy, which doesn't do justice to the heroic journeys on screen. The film's direction seems without reason at times, drifting between continents and species without that instinctual compass so vaunted in its subjects. However, there were no complaints from an audience willing to glide on its journey from the African White Pelican to Antarctica's Rock-hopper Penguins to the flamboyant characters of an Amazon jungle. If you dream of flying to far-off lands but do not want to dwell on reason or details, then Winged Migration might be the gust of wind to take you there.
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