It’s getting so that you can’t make a documentary about animals these days without hiring Morgan Freeman to narrate. Not that I’m complaining, mind you: Mr. Freeman’s awesome voice is a welcomed addition to just about any project. Why, he could even provide his power of speech to an outlandish exploitation schlockumentary title about UFOs and extraterrestrial life like his predecessor Orson Welles did and still make it sound believable. Fortunately, the nature of the IMAX presentation Born to Be Wild 3D is about just that: nature. As such, it stands to reason we can actually take Morgan’s word for everything as gospel.
Like most IMAX documentaries, Born to Be Wild 3D is a short one. But then, a forty-minute item about the raising and releasing of orphaned orangutans and elephants is quite sufficient. As we venture back and forth to the wildernesses of Borneo and Kenya, we get to familiarize ourselves with our animal subjects, as well as the humans who have dedicated their lives to saving these loveable creatures. Dr. Birute Galdikas and Daphne Sheldrick tell us all about their adopted “children,” as well as how they take care of them — and the scenes of the foster families interacting with their espoused offspring are as touching as you’re likely to come by.
Originally issued to IMAX theaters in 3D, Born to Be Wild 3D finds its way to home video from Warner Home Video in this 2D (though the word “3D” is still included in the credits) High-Definition presentation (there’s also a 3D Blu-ray release available). There is some truly spectacular imagery to be seen from both countries, and the breathtaking video transfer here presents it all quite admirably. Likewise, the disc’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a rich, superb one. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are also included, as are optional English (SDH), French and Spanish subtitles. Special features for this combo pack release are limited to six HD webisodes for the Blu-ray disc. Neither the Standard-Def DVD or the UltraViolet Digital Copy include any bonus items.
In short: Born to Be Wild 3D is a fun, informative documentary. My only qualm with the less-than-lengthy release is the steep retail price — so I’d recommend you rent it first.