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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Animals > Environment > TV Mini-Series > Hidden Kingdoms (2014/BBC Blu-ray)

Hidden Kingdoms (2014/BBC Blu-ray)

Picture: A Sound: B+ Extras: A- Episodes: A

Hidden Kingdoms (broadcast as Mini-Monsters of all things in a U.S. version) is a solid experience from frame one to conclusion. From the creators of the hit series Planet Earth 2014 comes some of the most breathtaking cinematography and nature photography to date. Narrated by Stephen Fry, the program shows us the world as if it were seen by a chipmunk, dung beetle, Rufous elephant shrew or a treeshrew. We are transported to a vast variety of atmospheres: a lush savanna, a dry desert, a lush yet dangerous jungle, a forest and the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. As outlined in the opening sequence, when you are less than a foot tall, raindrops fall like meteorites and a breeze feels like a tornado!

Episodes include Under Open Skies, Secret Forests, and Urban Jungles.

This disc has one of the best transfers I have seen on the Blu-ray format boasting a 1080p 1.78 X 1 High Definition transfer with incredible detail down to the last scale on the lizard's face. The audio is also spectacular with a lossless DTS HD 5.1 track and subtitles in English SDH. Note the location audio detail with the animals in their habitat.

Extras are the most interesting where the camera crew shows you how they capture these creatures in their habitats in Creating The Shot where we learn that some green screen technology was used on a small scale along with meticulous camerawork to show the perspective these creatures have. We also treated to a Mike Gunton Introduction, Creating The Score, Extended Scene, and Storyboarding the Beetles.

If you are a animal or nature lover or just if you enjoy a good documentary that's fun and easy to watch then this is definitely a good pick for you! Recommended!

- James Harland Lockhart V



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