ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D [2014 / 2015] [3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray] [UK Release]
A Journey Through The Wonders Of Africa!
‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is a jaw-dropping journey through the wonder of Africa and a celebration of nature at its most magical. From the ward winning team that brought you ‘Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie’ comes an extraordinary, spell binding journey through nature’s magical realms. Visually stunning and breathtakingly beautiful, you will never look at nature the same way again.
Created with ground-breaking technology, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is an immersive adventure, transporting you to the vibrancy and vitality of the natural world. Travel through seven distinct realms in the wildest continent on Earth and especially Africa, to discover that nature is so much more surprising and extraordinary than you could ever have imagined. In each real, experience just how different and outstanding nature can be, and encounter extraordinary animal characters, who reveal amazing lessons about the world. Explore an enchanted land where nature weaves its incredible magic, finally transforming into an abundant paradise, where life is at its most joyful. Visually stunning and breathtakingly beautiful, you will never look at nature the same way again. Narrated by Idris Elba.
Director: Neil Nightingale and Patrick Morris
Producers: Amanda Hill, Deepak Nayar, Jo Harvey, Julia Kenyon, Marcus Arthur, Martyn Freeman, Michael Gunton, Mike Devlin, Mike Newell, Miles Ketley, Myles Connolly, Neil Nightingale, Stephen Lyle, Stephen McDonogh, Stuart Ford and Tom Stephens
Screenplay: Nigel Williams
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Cinematography: Brendan McGinty, Jamie McPherson, Jonathan Jones, Mark Deeble, Robin Cox, Rod Clarke and Simon Werry
Image Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
English: 2.0 LPCM Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 87 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Universal Pictures / BBC Earth Films
Andrew’s 3D Blu-ray Review: Experience nature at its most intense and magical. Set in Africa, the wildest continent on Earth, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ in this most ambitious 3D nature film ever. Now you can discover and use imagery from the film in your own work! Created with ground-breaking technology, where Hollywood techniques meet the best in nature film-making, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is an immersive adventure, transporting you from grey urbanity to the vibrancy and vitality of the natural world. The BBC has been a longstanding leader in the field of eye-catching nature documentaries and ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is the latest addition to the British broadcaster professional output.
‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ nature is more magical, more enchanting, and more powerful than anything you can possibly imagine. And no other continent inspires the imagination like Africa and the wildest place on Earth, a place of mysterious landscapes, awesome drama and a beguiling cast of characters. Some are fantastical, others are alien; all are mesmerizing. Filmed with ground-breaking new 3D technology, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ provides a never-before-seen perspective of the continent, immersing us in a way that has never been done before. Join an epic quest and be swept along on a thrilling journey to discover the wonderful power of a magical place, in nature’s most ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ and was shot over a mammoth 500 days, this is the most ambitious and spectacular wildlife film EVER from the world’s most trusted natural history brand BBC Earth Films.
The documentary takes the viewer with the clouds to Africa, to the continent par excellence where nature has free rein, and all aspects are covered, where the nature, wildlife and the elements from rainforest to desert, of a forest ants to elephants, and the merciless heat to icy cold landscapes. The 3D effect enhances the hyper-realistic image. Thus ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ looks impressive, especially travelling through seven distinct realms in the wildest continent on Earth, to discover that nature is so much more surprising and extraordinary than you could ever have imagined. It is as enchanting as any fictional world or storybook. In each realm, we experience just how different and astounding nature can be, and encounter extraordinary animal characters, who reveal amazing lessons about the world.
We are plunged into nature at its most generous and most harsh, most terrible and most beautiful. We explore an enchanted land where nature weaves its incredible magic, finally transforming into an abundant paradise, where life is at its most joyful. It is a thrilling, immersive journey where you will experience the wonders of our planet as never before. An experience so alive that you’ll feel you’re really there, in the heart of the wild. Let yourself be swept back into nature and leave your urban life behind. You will never look at nature, or your own world, the same way again.
‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ shows off the ground-breaking BBC Earth Films, and the creator of the ‘Walking with Dinosaurs 3D’ and ‘Earth,’ takes us on a spell-binding journey through seven realms of Africa to reveal a natural world stranger, more magical, and more mystical than anything we might imagine. The film flows likes a stream, with extraordinary time-lapse photography, sweeping aerial shots, and macro and micro lensed 3D propelling us from enchanted forests to the boiling edge of the underworld, from celestial ice-capped mountains and lava-spewing volcanoes, to crashing waterfalls and deep fantastical seas, as we experience some of the greatest gatherings of wildlife ever captured on film. With up-close-and-personal animal encounters and absolutely stunning scenery, this is an unspeakably beautiful film that presents nature in all her epic grandeur. But at one point we end up on this awesome fast moving rapids and we get thrown about in a very violent way and it is so very effective in 3D that you actually feel you are riding the violent rapids, but what we view is very short, so not enough time to get the sick bag out, that is how totally realistic it feels.
‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is one of the best documentary I have seen so far in 3D, and it BLOWS EVERYTHING OUT OF THE WATER and sitting there in awe of Africa's beauty for the entire duration of the film, not once but TWICE being moved to tears at the complete amazement of nature’s creation. It's so diverse and breath-taking, taking you all the way from up top on Mount Kenya to the coral reefs near the continent's shore. With the added dimension, you honestly feel like you are actually there, with no screen in front of you. This feels very REAL and it is so refreshing to sit back and watch something tangible that has no need for multiple days of rendering with the most expensive computers around. Yet no matter how well it looks, a nature doc is nothing without sound and narration, and they knock both out of the park and narrator Idris Elba really enhances what you view on the screen. As to the music score it is PERFECT and really nails the humour, suspense, jubilation, and even sadness so well, but boy at one point in the documentary it creates an amazing jump scene or two for the viewers when the crocodile jumps out of the water to attack a wildebeest.
There is not much of a story for ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ and animals themselves provide plenty of entertainment and our senses are totally heightened with amusing musical choices that create laughter, suspense and thrills. For his part, Idris Elba is a terrific narrator and has a rich voice that is regal and smooth, while pushing the story along with spurts of funny one liners and insightful knowledge. If you enjoy nature documentaries than this is a must see, especially in 3D, but if you missed it when shown in the cinema, then this is the next best way to view this stunning documentary. The 3D adds so much depth to the screen that it often transports you to feeling as though you are exploring Africa yourself and especially the water scenes in particular are stunning utilising the best visual effects on offer.
ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D MUSIC TRACK LISTING
ANCIENT DRAGONS [Performed by Marius de Vries]
LIFE IN TECHNICOLOR II [Performed by Coldplay]
MOUNT KENYA [Performed by Laura Mvula]
PALE IMITATION [Performed by Yoav feat. Henrietta Tiefenthaler]
FURAHA YETU. AFRICA [Performed by The Enchanted Kingdom Choir]
3D Blu-ray Image Quality – Universal Pictures and BBC Earth Films together they bring us a totally awesome 1080p 3D image, with and equally impressive 1.85:1 aspect ratio. ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ was shot in 3D using Red Epic and highly specialized Element Technica 3D cameras. The result is some totally stunning 3D imagery that looks very natural with beautiful stunning glorious colourful images, breath-taking depth of field, and very natural pop-out 3D effects. The standout scenes are the underwater segments and the violent volcano scenes with the lava filling up the screen, but the entire film is a wonder to watch in stunning natural 3D. That said, the 2D version, which of course is available on the same Blu-ray disc is no slouch and probably provides even richer colours and crisper detail, although you do lose the extra spectacular 3D dimensionality effects, which I personally preferred, still at least you have a choice for your personal viewing enjoyment. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Universal Pictures and BBC Earth Films gives us a totally spectacular 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This surround mix is totally dynamic without being obtrusive or fatiguing. The awesome sound effects like crashing waves, birdsong and buzzing insects surround you and make you actually feel you are actually there in the natural world. Low end sounds are also extended nicely. But sadly sometimes when Idris Elba narrates, with some of the dramatic music you have a job to hear what he says, as he is very soft spoken.
2D Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Making of Featurettes: Here we get to view Ten stunning special features showcasing all the cutting-edge of the 3D technology used in the BBC Earth Films Blu-ray disc, but you only get to view it in 2D and lets you get to see how they captured the stunning imagery of ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ and which you get to view with the following:
Special Feature: Beneath the Waves  [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:07] With this first special feature, we take an in-depth look at deep in the ocean and its exotic sea creatures off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea and with the help of the crew from the BBC Earth Films unit and especially the camera crew using one of the rarest 3D camera systems in the world that weighs a colossal 120 kilograms and you see them delicately winching it carefully into the red Sea, as there are only 2 of these 3d cameras in existence, and are able to film up close and personal with all the hustle and bustle of all the sea creatures living among the massive coral reef and see bed in glorious 3D. We also get to see how very difficult it was to film in 3D in some very tight areas of the coral reef, especially with this really heavy and delicate 3D camera.
Special Feature: Hell on Earth  [1080p] [1.78:1] [5:10] Here we take an in-depth look at the incredible barren landscape of the Dallol in Ethiopia, which is the hottest place on Earth, with average temperatures consistently hovering at around 35 degrees Celsius, and has been judged as to be the hottest inhabited place on the planet and releases chemical compounds like ferrous chloride and iron hydroxide within the springs, and gives off acrid sulphur fumes that smells like rotten eggs. We get to see Jeff Rios [Stereographic] at work filming this incredible landscape and has been named “The Hell Hole of Creation” and because of the extreme heat in the daytime, they can only film late in the evening and at first light. Because of the treacherous terrain a lot of the two and a half ton heavy equipment had to be carried to and from the location each time for filming. The location also had a heavy toll on the crew as they had to drink 8 litres of water every day and eventually they were glad to finish filming, as the sulphur was starting to erode the metal equipment and were ever so glad to get back to civilisation.
Special Feature: King of the Jungle  [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:54] Here we take a look at the filming in the thick forest of Rwanda, where the film crew wanted to capture the enchanting moments of the mountain gorillas and again they had massive challenges of getting the heavy equipment deep into the heart of the rain forest and they had to hire a massive amount of African porters to help carry all of the massive amount of equipment used for setting up the filming. What was also difficult was that the gorillas moved about a lot and especially in very difficult locations, even with the African porters, everyone had to trek up to three to four days to find the gorillas and again with all of the massive heavy equipment it was very gruelling task, but of course with all of their efforts they were able to film some stunning magical moments, but sometimes things did not go to plan and they could not film shots they wanted of the gorillas and of course it led to a lot of frustrations, but of course despite this situation, their efforts were rewarded.
Special Feature: Mission Impossible  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:17] Here we get to see them preparing to film the white knuckle ride and also filming the largest curtain of falling water on Earth and also one of the greatest challenge that the director have ever encountered with the location of the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where the full width of the Zambezi River plummets in a sheer vertical drop into a narrow gorge 100 meters deep. Here we get to see the crew setting up the shot with the special spider camera rig to suspend the 3D camera over the gorge which was a logistic nightmare as it was also a very dangerous task to perform, especially with the constant torrent of water and the unpredictable wild life, namely a very rogue elephant, and what they wanted to achieve had never been performed before, and we see some really tricky and dangerous manoeuvres, especially by a specialist professional rock climber Walter Burkhardt trying to abseil down the falls and it took a total of six days of hard graft before filming could be started and on the seventh day they finally get the shot they have been working so hard to get.
Special Feature: Mountain Crisis  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:34] With an ambitious film crew, with 94 cases of equipment, over a 100 porters and two and half ton of equipment, they had to climb four and half thousand meters above sea level, high up the slopes of Mount Kenya, which is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Their objective was to fil some 3D time lap filming of images of the mountain as it transforms through its daily cycle from a summers day to a wintery night. Their biggest challenge was to keep the equipment operational and especially keeping the crew safe in the very harsh environment and especially monitoring health issues because of the very high latitude. Another problem they encountered they faced was the batteries were failing due to the very extreme cold climate. One particular shot they wanted to film was the curious plant for this region called a “Cabbage Groundsel” that has remarkable adaptions to the harsh cold environment. But other problems they encountered were the very changeable extreme weather conditions that nearly destroyed their camp site. Also another serious problem arose is that one of the crew got very serious altitude sickness and had to be flown out to a hospital, but later on recovered. But despite all the setbacks, they finally got down to some serious spectacular 3D time lap filming of all the elements of nature on this spectacular mountainous range.
Special Feature: Mountain Monkeys  [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:39] On the very first shoot of the ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ film. The crew went to the Semien Mountains in northern Ethiopia, north east of Gondar, are part of the Ethiopian Highlands. They are a World Heritage Site and include the Semien Mountains National Park. The mountains consist of plateaus separated by valleys and rising to pinnacles. The tallest peak is Ras Dashen (4,550 m); other notable heights include Mounts Biuat (4,437 m) and Kidis Yared (4,453 m). The BBC Earth Films crew wanted to film the wild Gelada Monkeys [Gelada Baboon] in their native habitat, which can only be found in the high altitude of the Ethiopian Highland mountainous range and love spending much of its time foraging in grasslands. Again the crew had to transport all of their 104 pieces of equipment and excess baggage up the 3,000 meters up onto the mountain top with only the crew and porters. The first priority was to get the Gelada Monkeys comfortable with the crew filming them, especially with all of the rigging and so at first they used a pretend camera, so the monkeys got used to when the crew actually filmed them and it took six days to set up before they started filming, but on the seventh day they finally did the filming. But despite all the logistic nightmare problems, they finally got to film some spectacular images of these very fine looking Gelada Monkeys.
Special Feature: Plummeting to Earth  [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:57] here we find the crew deep within the African rain forest, and here they wanted to capture quite possible the most critical shoot of the entire film programme. The shoot plunges you deep into the heart of the African continent where the crew ventured deep into the Crystal Mountains National Park in Gambon, a country along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa, where they found a missive diversity of animal species and creatures they wanted to film, but they had to overcome some very serious humidity that caused numerous problems, where the average annual relative humidity is 84.1%, which of coursed caused serious extreme body perspiration and extreme muddy slopes to add to their problems, which you see in this special feature and on top of all that you also see how they coped with the difficult working conditions and especially the densely jungle conditions. On one particular filming experience, it took them two gruelling days to set up to film the high jungle canopy, and especially searching for the right tree, where they wanted us the viewer to get the experience of vertigo and the immersion of the jungle environment and eventually they finally got the first ever 3D cable dolly shot from the top of the rain forest canopy down to the forest floor which they finally achieved, just before a storm erupted and deluged them with torrential rain.
Special Feature: Walking with Giants  [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:39] In the most ambitious 3D nature film, the crew wanted to immerse the audience into what it was like in the Elephant’s life, and to also make the audience part of the family. With the Elephant herd, the crew had to use vehicles to follow them in their trek to find water. But with their 30kg 3D camera, the logistics were causing a lot of technical and serious heat problems did not help, especially being in the heart in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park which is in the West of Zimbabwe. But what the crew wanted was smooth controllable shots of the Elephants, and the solution they came up with was a rig called a “Bungee Camera Mounting Rig” which is a light weight contraption suspended by gyroscopes. One amazing scene we get to see is the herd of Elephants drinking out of the camps swimming pool, which was not on the crews agenda, but despite this you see them doing just that and quite a very amusing moment in time. But when it came to the all-important 3D shoot, they abandoned the “Bungee Camera Mounting Rig” and went instead with the very professional Chapman 3G Compact 3-Axis Gyro Stabilized Head which eliminates unwanted camera “Shake” during fast or rough camera moves and is the same equipment used in the Hollywood Blockbuster films and gets a totally smooth shot in any rough terrain, which again was ideal when shooting the herd of Elephants seeking water. So all in all this was a really nice little fascinating special feature.
Special Feature: Working at Extremes  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:39] After two and half years on filming the ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ and the ground-breaking 3D film, where we find out about the crew have worked in some very extreme environments that Africa had to offer, and all to capture the magic of nature at its best. In Botswana Renee Godfrey [Producer/Director] experienced something horrible that will not be forgotten and that was being attacked by leeches, which is top of her list of fears, but you also see other people in the crew also being attacked profusely as well and looked like a really nasty experience. But for the crew of BBC Earth Films most toughest and wettest assignment was experiencing the White Water Rapids of the Zambezi River that eventually leads to the Victoria Falls and the crew when filming wanted the audience to experience what it was like to go down this river, so the crew had to film from an inflatable raft and with the 3D camera mounted on the front of the raft, they were able to immerse the viewer in natures greatest roller coaster ride, and although it was viewed in the special feature in 2D, you really feel what the crew experienced, but as I have already stated earlier, when you see it is 3D you get an even more enhanced feeling of travelling down the violent rapids, because the Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and is also the most powerful river in the world, and especially as there is no easy route down this river, and you get to see the problems from the back of the raft as the crew was filming and all of a sudden the raft over turns and again it showed how dangerous this river can be, and they had to work fast to make sure everyone was safe, especially in not getting swept away. But despite the danger, the crew got some very dramatic shots that they were determined to film. Other dramatic shots they wanted to film was in a helicopter and doing some really dangerous manoeuvres around Mount Kenya, especially the air is very thin and there are a lot of air turbulent, especially with winds that swirl around the mountain, but with the skilful flying by the helicopter pilot, they were able to film some spectacular images in that region. Another expert they had some help from to film some spectacular waves in South Africa was from Mike Stewart who is a nine-time World Champion body boarder and one of the early pioneers of the bodyboarding sport and the crew strapped the 3D camera to his surf board to film in slow motion the spectacular view of being inside these massive waves and really makes you feel you are actually experiencing what Mike Stewart was experiencing, and this filming was the last part of a two and a half years filming around the world, which has now been completed.
Special Feature: Filming Flamebirds  [1080p] [1.78:1] [4:59] With this final spectacular special feature, the crew are found filming in Lake Begonia in Kenya where we find over a million Kenya Lesser Flamingos and every year they perform one of the mesmerising dance display on Earth, and here we see the crew make an endeavour to capture on film the spectacular event and is a way of really immersing the viewer especially in 3D the beautiful natural life of these spectacular Pink Flamingos. But one problem the crew encountered is that when they started to get close to these birds they got really spooked and tented to fly off and not return, so to keep then the birds in a calm state, they had to come up with loads of subtle tactics, especially with good camouflage. To get the best shots, they built a remote control customised surf board and housed in it was all kinds of electronic gizmos which cost $1,000 to build, but despite this, things went badly wrong as you get to witness as the propeller got clogged up, so in the end that had to resort to human power and here we get to see cameraman Mark Deeble who had to steer the camera himself under camouflage in very nasty filthy water, that had a content of 14.5ph value, meaning its content is extremely alkaline and irritant, but with Mark’s patience he was able to get within 6 meters of the Flamingos, but because the water was really dangerous to humans, they instead fitted up a camouflage hide on the edge of the lake in full view of the Flamingos, but unfortunately mark had to spend up to two weeks in the camouflage hide to capture the happening with the Flamingos, but despite this long two weeks stint, Mike was able to capture some spectacular images of the Flamingos. But the only real negative aspect of this particular filming is that at the same time the midges were hatching from the lake and everyone one get seriously bitten. But despite this, with Mike’s perseverance, the intimate moments of the activity of the Flamingos helped to create the illusion of being there among the flock of Flamingos and transports the viewer through the extraordinary realms of the ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ nature film.
Finally, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ is a spectacular 3D journey for the entire family, taking the audience on an immersive adventure, transporting the viewer from grey urbanity to the vibrancy and vitality of nature. Experience Africa alongside the filmmakers and go on an astounding exploration through an enchanted land where nature weaves its incredible magic. Discover seven distinct realms of Africa, and see the continent at its most gorgeous and most harsh, most terrible and most beautiful and finally transforming into an abundant paradise. The BBC Earth Films are masters of the nature documentary and with this latest endeavour, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ give us another marvellous creation that is an inspiring look at the planet we live on. Filmed with ground-breaking 3Dstereoscopic technology, ‘ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D’ provides a whole new perspective of Earth. The Blu-ray is a high definition reference Blu-ray quality release and a treasure for all fans of nature documentaries. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso