Winged Migration

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Winged Migration Movie Poster Image
As pretty and light as a feather on the wind.
  • G
  • 2003
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Birds face peril, including hunters, industrial sludge, turbines, avalanches, and other birds, some are killed.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMollyMcBee March 29, 2019

Visually (and aurally) gorgeous, but caveat if your kid is sensitive to suffering

It’s a lovely film, but there is one “horrifying” scene (Roger Ebert’s word, and it’s fitting) where a bird that has a broken wing is unable to escape a mob of... Continue reading
Adult Written bysagorsch April 9, 2008

Soaring Delight

I watched this documentary with my 4 and 6 year old, they were enthralled and wanted to watch it repeatedly!

I do not know why this is rated for 7+. Any child... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

WINGED MIGRATION is an 85-minute feast for the eyes in which viewers are treated to breathtaking footage of the adventures of thousands of avian protagonists as they face adversity on their migratory travels across the globe.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how birds can either be helped or hindered by humans or something human-built. Is the help or hindrance intended? What could your family do that might make an impact on the lives of birds?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate