Parents' Guide to

Winged Migration

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

As pretty and light as a feather on the wind.

Movie G 2003 89 minutes
Winged Migration Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

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 hungry crabs, who pile on top of the bird until you can’t even see it anymore to tell if it’s still struggling. I’m 65 and I will never watch that scene again. I can’t imagine how the other reviewers missed that. Anyway, if you know your child will get upset, watch this in segments and skip the crab scene. Nature is violent, but this scene is excessively cruel, in my opinion. Kids don’t need to be deadened to the suffering of others.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 7+

Scrumptious AND Educational

This is one of the most beautiful films. Visually captivating, it allowed me to talk with my 7 year old son (who is pretty hyper and into more action/adventure films) about bird migration, geography, distances, pollution and our role in taking care of the planet. Awe inspiring and a gorgeous educational opportunity.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

Movie Details

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