Dave White
Arctic Tale Review

Dave's Rating:

2.0

… a slippery slope toward stupidity.

Who's in It: Queen Latifah (narrator)

The Basics: Adorable polar bear babies roll around and fight and fall into icy holes and learn to catch and eat other animals. Meanwhile, much-less-adorable walrus babies learn to climb onto ice floes with their really poorly evolved (oops, sorry I meant to write "designed," since that's how they soft-ball it here) flippers. Meanwhile, their home is eroding to rising temperatures. To blame? Us.

What's the Deal? How much slack are you supposed to cut a cute G-rated documentary that has really good intentions — humans and their stupid global warming are likely to cause the extinction of these helpless and defenseless wild animals — but presents its case in the most irritating lowest-common-denominator way imaginable? I vote for none, and here's why: If the Discovery channel can run the amazing Planet Earth series without turning nature into an anthropomorphic vintage disco dance party, then why can't National Geographic?

And I Mean It When I Say Disco Dance Party: This movie can't resist blaring Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" and Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" over shots of walruses snuggling for warmth and polar bears sliding on the ice. Missing from the score is the Misfits' "Die Die My Darling" when the polar bears get all circle-of-life and chase down their meals and then eat them alive.

What Else is Wrong With It: An extended segment about flatulence scored with a symphony of walrus farts that were clearly not recorded on the premises. And Queen Latifah reporting on walrus behavior in a way that ignores scientific explanations and instead substitutes hip-hop logic like, "That's just how they roll!" If they'd wanted an animated movie, they should have just made one and let Ray Romano do the voices or something. Seriously irritating.

And Another Thing: From now on, I want equal time for evolution. Every time you use the word "design" in your script about the habits of animal species, I want some hard science backing up the facts. Hardcore anti-evolutionists are offended by it? Well, tough. March of the Penguins started us down this road, and it's a slippery slope toward stupidity.

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