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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 500 million years superbly summed up in two hours
This is a short, two episode but thoroughly enjoyable series which uses recent paleontological discoveries - many of them from China - to tell the story of human evolution, from an alternative different angle to the normal approach.
Over two hours, Attenborough uses fossils, CGI, diagrams and filming of contemporary equivalents / offspring to illustrate the pathway...
Published 12 months ago by Rowena Hoseason

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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles :-(
Poor deaf and hard of heraing people. Another great series issued with no subtitles. Is this some kind of a joke or what? How is this even possible nowadays?

The production Company spent hundreds of thousands of Dollars on the production of this series. Would it kill them to add a few more bucks on adding subtitles to the DVD release?

Don't buy this...
Published 10 months ago by DionysosBacchus


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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 500 million years superbly summed up in two hours, 4 Oct 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This is a short, two episode but thoroughly enjoyable series which uses recent paleontological discoveries - many of them from China - to tell the story of human evolution, from an alternative different angle to the normal approach.
Over two hours, Attenborough uses fossils, CGI, diagrams and filming of contemporary equivalents / offspring to illustrate the pathway from primitive fish, to amphibians and reptiles; then dinosaurs and birds; mammals, primates and finally us. Never one to hog the limelight he frequently involves the specialists who've revealed new knowledge, buried deep in ancient rock. The creatures featured range from tiny little fish to the megafauna; there's a detailed explanation of how and why humans ended up being warm-blooded placental mammals - not to mention how we got eyes, ears, lungs and so forth. Don't expect anything here to disagree with Darwin!

The filming, as you'd expect, is top-quality. It veers away from the pointlessly dramatic helicopter-filming-helicopter type shots (the sound-track is pretty low-key, too), but we're still treated to some gorgeous landscapes and an array of awesome fossil remains. The photography is mercifully free of that fashionable `blurred edge' soft-focus fad, which many documentary makers seem unable to resist at the moment...
Attenborough remains on top form. A bit less agile than he used to be, but still as engaging as ever; able to express complex concepts without patronising the audience or over-simplifying the subject.
Some of the animated sections are wonderfully wonky. The first flying dinosaur looks like it escaped from ToyStory, but the CGI of a wee skeletal rodent being brought to life to run around Attenborough's hand is ridiculously cute. Ditto the moment when a warm-blooded puppy does its best to play with a cold-blooded lizard in an inspired moment of table top filming to demonstrate the difference between the two.
I didn't find the map-of-evolution very helpful either, but then, it's not exactly a straightforward thing to try to represent all known species on a 2D timeline...

Short but very sweet, then: an admirable lesson to many film-makers in how to cram a huge amount of information into a petite package. Some people would have spun this out of six episodes and filled the gaps with endless repetition and 'presenter treks across Gobi desert' moments. Applause all round for an altogether more accomplished package - one which ably uses modern animation to make dry old bones entirely interesting.

9/10
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is more like it, 11 Dec 2013
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Yet another excellent series from David Attenborough. Well written and plenty of content. As usual Attenborough has the knack of making potentially difficult subject matter comprehensible to the layman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dead Cert Winner, 3 May 2014
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Mr. M. Jackson "Emjay" (England) - See all my reviews
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Having seen many wildlife productions I was expecting more of the same but, no. This one is so educational that I only wish that it had been around when I was at school.

It shows the evolution of life and, although no doubt it be argued against, it shows where we came from. It's the most entertaining piece od documentary that I have ever watched.

Do yourself a favour and by it for your children. (And yourself)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles!!, 11 Jun 2014
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Not to speak for the content of the program, which is no doubt excellent, but surely subtitles should be a staple feature of all DVDs now?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you think you know it all, David keeps us on our toes., 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When it comes to documentaries on nature, David Attenborough is just the best! He explains Life so eloquently and has this wonderful voice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rise of Animals, 22 Jan 2014
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Once more this is an excellent DVD
I would recommend it to anyone interested in nature in general. our grandchildren love it.
Arrived on time no problem . Mavo
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5.0 out of 5 stars quick delivery, 13 Jan 2014
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excellent product, can't wait to watch it again, so entertaining and so much to learn, recommended for the whole family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leonor Tinajero, 8 Jan 2014
Never dissapointing. He is a brilliant communicator and it is perfect for all family members to see how the evolution of life in the planet took place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars review, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a brilliant documentary, well up to Sir DA's usual standards, as the title says, it shows the evolution of animals from their earliest origins upwards
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5.0 out of 5 stars brill dvd, 2 Dec 2013
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David Attenborough once again is full of factual information that will simply explain a very complex ecosystem. Throughout time it explains the basics and complexities of the newest findings in the evolutionary tree
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