By Maria Popova
For over three years, a tireless team of filmmakers, photographers and explorers traveled more than 420,000 miles in what became the most ambitious endeavor in National Geographic‘s 122-year history. Great Migrations is an epic, in the literal sense of the word, documentary miniseries that captures the remarkable journeys of animals as they travel unthinkable distances in great numbers but pursue their survival as a singular brain. Filmed by some of the world’s most acclaimed wildlife cinematographers, the series not only reveals the incredible synchronicity of nature but also bespeaks the tender fragility of a planet that hangs in precarious balance.A magnificent companion book follows the sequence of the film in vivid color. The narrative is divided into three sections: “The Need for Speed” portrays migrations as a survival race against time; “The Need to Feed” unearths the ruthless cross-species confrontations that lurk beneath our idylic perception of peaceful green pastures; “Need to Lead” illuminates the fascinating hierarchical, military-like division of roles and resonsibilities in migrations; “The Need to Breed” explores the deadly risks animals face as they fight to ensure the propagation of the species’ genes.
The 7-hour HD epic is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray and is narrated by none other than Alec Baldwin.