From National Geographic Films, the people who brought you “March of the Penguins,” and Paramount Classics, “Arctic Tale” is an epic adventure that explores the vast world of the Great North. The film follows the walrus Seela and the polar bear Nanu, on their journey from birth to adolescence to maturity and parenthood in the frozen Arctic wilderness. Once a perpetual winter wonderland of snow and ice, the walrus and the polar bear are losing their beautiful icebound world as it melts from underneath them. Narrated by Queen Latifah.
“Arctic Tale” is an engaging film. Masterfully told and beautifully shot, this is a compelling story about the trials and tribulations of life and death in the Arctic. While survival is challenging for any species, especially in the barren backdrop of the Arctic, the story-tellers took great care to make a film that contained very little graphic content. It is less Documentary and more Docu-drama, because the credits state that the characters of Seela and Nanu are actually a composite of ten years of wildlife footage; i.e., they are not the same animals throughout.
I was initially impressed by the lack of rhetoric about man’s impact on the environment — until the credits rolled. Then, a politically correct, culturally diverse group of young school children “preach” to the audience that if we use less electricity, burn cleaner fuels, take shorter showers and plant trees, we can save the diminishing Arctic ice-scape. The final message on the screen says that if conditions don’t change (read: if we don’t change our harmful lifestyles) the Arctic ice will disappear forever, along with the wildlife that call it home, by the year 2040.
The closing message presents a single point of view that has as many detractors as it does supporters. Since we believe that parents should decide what political or environmental perspectives their children should adopt, we recommend “Arctic Tale” for audiences over the age of 12.