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David Attenborough - Life in the Freezer [DVD] [1993]

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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  • David Attenborough - Life in the Freezer [DVD] [1993]
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Product details

  • Actors: David Attenborough
  • Directors: Alastair Fothergill
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006G9VR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,140 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

At one and a half times the size of the United States, it has a year-round population of only 800 people. Three quarters of the world's fresh water envelops it in a layer of ice so thick it conceals mountain ranges as vast as the Alps. And with temperatures below seventy degrees centigrade and winds of up to 120 mph, Antartica is the coldest, loneliest place on Earth. But it is also a place of majestic beauty which can support astonishingly rich and varied forms of wildlife. Presented by David Attenborough, Life in the Freezer reveals incomparable standards of natural history filming to trace Antartica's seasonal cycle from the long winter months when the formation of ice almost doubles its surface area, to the brief summer when the race to breed really heats up.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I've always been fascinated with the Antarctic- I watched this religiously when it first came out & it must have made it's mark as many of the scenes I remembered after 10 years.
There are some incredible moments- the life and death of creatures who's whole lives seem to consist of nothing but hardship, huge mountain ranges untrod by human footsteps and the driest place on earth; where the only living things are algae in the rocks.
It's not an epic like the other Attenborough titles- the episodes are 1/2 hour or so long but what it seems to do is cover a bit of everything.
Not such a bad thing when you consider there really isn't that much there:
birds (mostly penguins)
krill (lots of)
whales (not enough of)
seals (can be nasty)
algae (a bit dull)
man (can also be nasty)
Very well put together with breathtaking camerawork this is well worth having and watching again & again.
My favorite bit of all is the Emperor Penguin, standing in a screaming blizzard for months, in darkness, huddled together in the middle of the continent, incubating his solitary egg and waiting for his partner to return so he can then walk 100 miles to the ice edge to eat himself.
Brilliant.
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Format: DVD
Amazing. Sir David Attenborough's contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the natural world cannot be surpassed. As an Englishman in America - life in a cultural freezer you might say - I have really come to appreciate the quality of BBC programming and here it is epitomised.
The photography (BAFTA award winning) is superb and the narration is exactly what you would expect from Sir Attenborough, humourous, informative, and accessible to all ages. I can thoroughly recommend not only this title but all of Sir Attenborough's programs, from Blue Planet to Life of Mammals - They will be a much valued part of your DVD collection for years to come.
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I know the March of the Penguins is getting a lot of press lately and there is some stunning cinematography in that piece but anyone who liked that will be blown away by Life in the Freezer. Having marvelled at it a first time, I was actually drawn back to watch the entire series several times. Attenborough is his usual fabulous, inobtrusive gentleman who hooks you in. Everything from March of Penguins I knew already from Life in the Freezer but there is sooooo much more here about so many animals. The antartic is teaming with life and this DVD set is just an amazing discovery.
Don't miss this one.
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This little gem has tended to be overlooked between the much lauded "early" masterpieces like "Life on Earth" and David Attenborough's more recent "Life of..." series. The latter have been magnificently packaged together as "Life on Land" and this is the cheapest and most satisfying package if you want these David Attenborough's Life On Land - A DVD Encyclopaedia. In general, the filming of the later series are stunningly good but the actual content of the early series are much more gripping from a scientific point of view; with compelling themes on which to hang the marvellous pictures.
Life in the Freezer has the best of both worlds, being very well filmed in 1993 (but obviously not in the HD class of the ludicrously-overblown "Life") while also telling a compelling story across the six episodes. The series has the unusual format of six 30 minute episodes, rather than the 50+10 minute format that has become ubiquitous since. The shorter episodes are actually superior in terms of pacing and keeping the viewer engaged throughout (and you can fit them all on a single disc!). For example, why would you labour through the ghastly anthropomorphised narration of "March of the Penguins" when you can experience the concise, powerful telling of the same story in a third of the time here? The final episode is unusual in looking at the human involvement in Antarctica; visiting (for example) Scott's hut and exploring the human legacy of exploration in the Heroic Age. I thought that the move away from the wildlife might be an irritation but, in fact, it adds another dimension to the series and ends the six episodes in a very satisfying way. I find this small masterpiece one of the absolute jewels of Attenborough's marvellous career and urge you to buy it.
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All documentary by David Attenborough is great. This is not different. I love it and you will like this too, if you buy it.
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Great summary of all the areas most people visit when they go to Antarctica. Deception island was quite interesting, looked a lot different then what I imagined compared to what I thought it would compared to what I've read in travel guides.

Some amazing footage, including footage in the water with leopard seals!
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Format: DVD
I was astonished to discover that this was made in 1993 - it is amazing to see how much has changed in 17 years. The transfer is most definitely not a digital remastering and the grainy quality of the film really shows up. There is also a terribly 1980s synth soundtrack and some very basic graphic illustrations and these things are really noticable in comparison to the digitally shot and orchestrally scored recent BBC nature productions. However, to compensate for this you have the pleasure of having Sir David as presenter as opposed to narrator, much less intrusive foley artist work and obviously all the wonders that the Antarctic can offer. A bargain for the price.
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