Arctic Tale (Widescreen) product details page

Arctic Tale (Widescreen)

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A film with a global conscience as impressive as its commitment to capturing rare footage, Arctic Tale is nonetheless too kiddie-oriented to cross over to the adult audiences that made March of the Penguins a hit. Perhaps because its environmental message is not explicit until the closing credits -- which feature a multi-racial spectrum of children offering tips for green living -- Arctic Tale unfolds as just a story of cute animals frolicking and surviving in their harsh conditions. And since their slips and falls are accompanied by pop songs like "We Are Family," Arctic Tale lacks both the seriousness and sophistication of March of the Penguins. Furthermore, its cinematography pales in comparison to the natural majesty documented there. The film is better appreciated from a distance, when viewers can contemplate the notion that directors Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson spent 15 years shooting it. Only through that extraordinary persistence could they record this array of dramatic skirmishes and tender moments. The feat is not quite as amazing as the script would suggest -- the two "protagonists," a walrus named Seela and a polar bear named Nanu, are a composite of animals, rather than single creatures tracked through their lives. But this doesn't detract from the accomplishments of Robertson and Ravetch, shown precariously perched on ice floes with all their equipment during the closing credits. Queen Latifah's narration is supposed to contain just enough sass to seem unconventional, but it's too straightforward and precious, reinforcing the film's appropriateness for wee tots. Instilling environmental awareness in young children is an admirable goal, and they brought out the big guns, with Kristin Gore (Al's daughter) credited as a writer. Unfortunately, children old enough to actually absorb this message may rather switch over to the latest fantasy epic than endure Arctic Tale's 85 minutes. Derek Armstrong, All Movie Guide