Paramount // 2011 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 25th, 2011
The most mysterious seabird of them all?
PBS and Nature turn their lenses towards a surprising film subject: Australian pelicans. What do I know about pelicans? Not much going into this. There was a pelican in Finding Nemo. He flew into a glass window pane. That was pretty funny. But 60 minutes later, with this documentary's facts and photography in my belly, I emerge with a greater respect for the downunder waterfowl.
Seriously. These things are fascinating. Actually, to be more specific, their flight habits and the particular destination that they journey to en masse is fascinating.
The feature compares two sets of pelicans: those that hang out around the harbor, searching for fish and trying to make a home for their pelican families and the nearly 100,000 pelicans that fly deep into the outback. Their destination? A massive, toxic salt flat that is as inhospitable to life as my basketball duffel bag. But once every ten years, the basin floods and the result is Pelican Heaven. Instinctively, massive numbers of pelicans fly over to feed, nurture their young and basically throw the bitchingest bird beach party of the decade.
Outback Penguins does a nice job digging into general facts of pelicans and prying into the mystery of their mass migration to the outback. From the birds' weird synchronized fish-eating to their delightful practice of vomiting up food for their offspring, these pelicans have much to share with you, inquisitive viewer.
Nice, simple Blu-ray: the 1.85:1 widescreen, while 1080i, still looks great, sparkling with clarity and color. Nature shows are always good for some satisfying eye candy, and Outback Pelicans serves up a very solid viewing experience. The 5.1 surround is dialogue-heavy and front-loaded, but achieves its purpose. No pelican bonus features.
Not Guilty. Those poseur flamingos can go screw.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English, Descriptive)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated