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4.6 out of 5 stars102
4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 February 2011
A few BBC wildlife programmes are average but the majority are good, very good or exceptionally good. In my opinion "Madagascar" is in the highest category. The diaries at the end of each programme show the effort put into making them over an 18 month period - the canoes and the unstable platform to film the reed lemurs in the first, the platform high in the trees and the long wait for the rain to stop to film the red ruffed lemurs in the second, and the hair-raising nocturnal filming of fossas in the third.

The programmes cover both the beautiful and the bizarre, including shell squatting spiders, pygmy chameleons little bigger than ants, Labord's chameleon that lives for only 12 weeks, giraffe-necked weevils, and lemurs that eat bamboo containing levels of cyanide that would be lethal for other animals. A big plus is that in addition to the fauna and flora we have stunning aerial photography of the varied and spectacular landscapes of the island - mountains, rainforests, rivers, coasts and arid areas.

David Attenborough (as good as ever) provides the narrative, explaining how plants and animals adapted to the environment during the 60 million years when the island was cut off from the rest of the world. As for the music, all too often BBC programmes are spoiled for me by excessively loud and inappropriate music. In this case the music, much of it composed specially for the series, actually adds value to it. If I was allowed to keep only one wildlife series I think "Madagascar" might be it even though it does not feature my favourite animals - the big cats.

However, along with the beauty there is a sombre tone. We see the scattered remains of the elephant bird that began to disappear, along with other species, when man arrived. David Attenborough tells us that the unique radiated tortoises are likely to be extinct within twenty years, that only ten female fossas survive in the forest, and only 200 ghost-like silky safakas remain. He finishes all three programmes with a warning about impending extinctions. How sad it would be if our great-grandchildren were one day to watch this wonderful series to see not living animals but a record of those that have vanished from the earth.

Edit: as an extra "Attenborough and the Giant Egg" is included as part of the two disc set, with video dating from 1960 (when Attenborough acquired the egg of an elephant bird) to the present day.
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on 2 May 2012
Thanks for the review by Mark Twain and the comment by Sanjay, I now know why Madagascar will not work on my 2 Sony BR players. I also took my copy of Madagascar to Best Buy and it did played on 2 other brands of BR players.

I emailed Sony and then called their customer service and after some research; this is what Sony told me: Region FREE is for the European and Region Zero and 1 are for North America, and Sony is not prepared to do anything about it because it is a Region Code thing. There is no software upgrade available. I guess that Sony just did not included Region FREE into their software initially.

I gave Madagascar a 5 star rating because I know it is a wonderful product. Not being able to play is just unfortunate that I (we) have Sony players. I do not want to down grade the product.

I will advise Amazon UK about the situation and hope they will post a warning to US customers who owns Sony BR players. I have other UK BRs, and Madagascar happened to be the first one not playable.

UPDATE: Sept 25, 2012

I had just upgraded to 3D TV. I purchased the LG 55LM7600 with the LG BD620 3D player. I watched Madagascar on simulated 3D and it was a pleasant experience. The five star rating for Madagascar now stands solid.

The note Amazon UK placed just under the Madagascar title explains clearly why the Sony players will not play Madagascar. What Sony told me is just a brush off.
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on 27 July 2011
I've watched hundreds of nature shows, including Sir David Attenborough's complete works. I think Madagascar is the absolute best. I had to make an effort to stop at 2am so I could still go to work in the morning. It's as fascinating as Dexter.

I've already watched it twice and I've only had it for a week. Incredible landscapes, animals I've never seen in other shows. You constantly find yourself wondering how the heck they managed to film some things. The "Diaries" section at the end of the episodes answers that question. I normally don't bother watching DVD extras, but here they're totally worth it.

The show has English subtitles.
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on 24 March 2013
This wonderfully filmed 2 disc 2011 documentary is produced by the BBC and narrated by the incomparable David Attenborough concerns the many unique animals and plants of the island separated from mainland Africa for a long geologic period which has enabled a diverse ecosystem to develop. This is now of course subject to human activities usually in the form of population growth and economic activity that follows, which has resulted in the decline of many species as the original habitants are eroded and at sometime will be below that need for a sustainable population which will result in that species extinction. Two interesting programmes make up the bonus features.
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on 11 February 2012
Wonderful show love all David Attenboroughs has bought us so much that most of us would never see
shows but this one has to be one of my favourites the animals, the glorious colours
and the conservation efforts just fabulous
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on 18 July 2012
This natural history documentary gives an excellent overview of the very specialised and different fauna and flora of Madagascar and the markedly different ecosystems within this huge island, It combines some early black and white film footage from David Attenborough's early Zoo Quest trip to Madagascar. The special feature on the Giant Egg is of particular interest. The other one, on the Ring tailed Lemurs, is a bit gushy. It would have been good to have a bit more science in that, with the commentator's views supported by someone able to give a more objective overview of lemur population changes and dynamics in this small Reserve.There have been relatively long-term observations and records in this Reserve and there is also a very obvious impact from tourism. It would have been interesting to have had more than just the usual comments on the limited habitat the lemurs occupy and resulting threats to them.
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on 19 June 2013
Great photography and a revelation of nature at work. Very well researched and presented. These breathtaking scenes and well presented narrative is highly entertaining and also very educational. It puts conservation into perspective and makes very clear why it should be top priority on this planet.
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on 13 July 2011
As someone who has been to Madagascar, albeit briefly, I can appreciate how fragile and beautiful this country is. This DVD was both a haunting reminder, and a poignant glimpse at what we could lose - within my lifetime. To my relief, the documentary was not doom and gloom and not forcing home the point of how fractured these pockets of magnificant wildlife are, but was instead a beautiful tribute. So beautiful, that it brought a tear to my eye, but also made me laugh.
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on 18 July 2013
"Madagascar" is a mini-series co-produced by Animal Planet and the BBC. It gives us a unique peek into the flora and fauna of Madagascar, the large island-nation off the African coast. The creatures at Madagascar have evolved in isolation from the rest of the world for millions of years, and many of the species can't be found anywhere else.

The most iconic animals on the island are, of course, the lemurs. Brace yourself for a lot of those! The ring-tailed lemur is something of a generalist, and can even be found living on mountains, while other species are extremely specialized. The bamboo lemurs live almost exclusively on bamboo, which they somehow manage to digest, despite high levels of cyanide in this particular plant. The lemurs known as indris look eerily human-like as they jump from tree to tree in near-upright position. I also noted, with some childish satisfaction, that many of the lemur species look like cuddly toys!

Other more or less weird creatures featured in "Madagascar" include a fish that swims upside down, a turtle that can become almost 200 years old, beetles which use their long necks to fight, insect-devouring plants and a small lemur that acts as a pollinator of flowers. We also get to meet the world's ugliest parrot, the Greater Vasa Parrot. Looks like a vulture!

The only problem with this documentary is that it shows no humans, as if Madagascar was some kind of pristine Eden. Or is it Lemuria? In reality, the island-nation has a population of 22 million people!

That being said, I must nevertheless say that "Madagascar" is one of the more interesting and well-produced wildlife documentaries I've seen for a long time. Five stars!
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on 25 May 2013
another amazing series, not as in depth as it could be( i like it a bit more sciencey!!!), but if you like your nature docs madagascar is a must just for the strange life that has evolved on this island from primates to trees
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