Judge Kent Dixon is still convinced that "Bark! Bark, bark!" can't possibly mean "Timmy is stuck in the well!"
"When you start thinking like an Imagineer, you're going to find that science is everywhere."—Asa Kalama, Disney Imagineer and series host
The Disney Imagineering process begins with a story concept that is then developed into the creation of an environment that helps to tell that story best. Imagineers then use science and technology to create the many thrilling and entertaining rides and attractions in Disney parks around the world. In 1998, Disney expanded their horizons by opening a brand new theme park that offered something beyond their traditional rides and attractions. Occupying 500 acres, Disney's Animal Kingdom is home to more than 300 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.
Animal Adaptation: Communication explores the world of animals and how they adapt to their environment and the various ways they communicate. A bit of a departure from the other titles I've reviewed in this series, this has nothing to do with what many would consider to be scientific subject matter, at least in the traditional sense. This release explores the animal kingdom and the varied ways different species communicate and the many reasons behind that communication. From mating calls and long-distance communication with other members of their group, to warning off predators, there are literally millions of ways animals communicate, depending on their circumstances and environment. Perhaps more than any of the other titles in this series Animal Adaptations: Communication shows how human beings are connected with the natural world in more than a cause and effect relationship.
Teachers will find some great resources called "Try It Yourself" and "Test Your Knowledge" listed under "Educational Features & More." "Try It Yourself" leads viewers in a project called "Making Recycled Paper" that puts the main feature's environmental theme into practice. "Test Your Knowledge" presents 15 multiple choice questions to quiz viewers after they've watched the main feature. The coolest feature of this section is that if you get a question wrong, the DVD automatically jumps to the section of the feature that addressed the specific question, then returns to the quiz.
A five-page educator's guide that covers the concepts behind animal communications is also included on the DVD in PDF form, saving valuable pre-class prep time for teachers. While students watching a DVD in a classroom setting aren't likely going to be too concerned about the video or audio quality, The Science of Disney Imagineering series, Animal Adaptation: Communication is solid all around with a better-than-average video presentation and an audio mix that suits the content just fine.
As I've said in my previous reviews of titles from the The Science of Disney Imagineering series, these releases may seem expensive at $50 a pop for a roughly 30-minute long presentation. While a bit on the pricey side, the content and supplemental features and materials come together to create a great teaching resource that conforms to national science education standards while delivering a new and exciting learning experience for children.
The Science of Disney Imagineering: Animal Adaptations: Communication is another great release from Disney Educational Productions that helps children learn some familiar concepts in a new and exciting way.
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