I have now seen every Disneynature film ever released…kind of. Let me explain. I wanted to catch up with the two DVD releases from Disneynature and found that they were both on Netflix, so I first watched Crimson Wing, which was ok, but determined to view all of their films, I watched Wings of Life.
This film, narrated by Meryl Streep, discusses the world’s hidden necessities, pollinators. Bees, Bats, Butterflies and more are all covered in this documentary that covers the globe featuring these creatures that are key to a fully functioning ecosystem.
While in recent years, the Disneynature films have taken on a story approach, this one goes back to the way the information was presented in Earth and Oceans, having small segments about a variety of different creatures. We are introduced to two types of bee, monarch butterflies, nectar loving bats, and more throughout the 80 minute film.
Right from the beginning, I knew I was going to hate it. Meryl Streep’s dialogue makes it seem as she is the flower. She must’ve said “I’m here too,” as if she was the cacti or wildflowers discussed, at least a baquillion times (that’s like 9 gadrillion). I went in thinking it was more about the pollinators themselves, but oh no, it was all about the flowers. That’s right, the flowers.
While a gardener might enjoy it, or Martha Stewart, I did not. It was incredibly slow, as well, thanks to the bad “flower POV” narration. Meryl’s voice was very nice and would be great for one of their theatrical releases (the fact that a woman hasn’t narrated a theatrical Disneynature film is kind of surprising and disappointing), yet what she had to work with was bland central.
Also, the film is definitely not for the squeamish, as the close-ups of bugs and spiders and dragonflies were too much for me to handle. At one point, a spider jumps and grabs a hold of a caterpillar and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
The only real highlight was the hummingbird sequences, as I never realized how hostile they are with each other. At one point, there is a full-on Wrestlemania situation between two hummingbirds and it is riveting, while also being rather frightening.
Now, to the “kind of” I mentioned at the beginning…I couldn’t sit through the whole thing. Now, I realize there are people that are going to go “How can you accurately critique something you didn’t finish?” I want you to log into Netflix, right now, and try to watch this thing in full in one sitting. It. Is. Impossible.
When Disneynature first announced that they wouldn’t release a film in 2013, I was highly disappointed. Then, I became irked when I found out they were releasing a film on DVD that year. Why not just put it in theaters? Now I realize. Because it is the driest thing in the entire world.
I give Wings of Life 1 murdered caterpillar out of 5. Don’t waste your time with this film. Go see the fantastic Bears instead. Don’t fake yourself out into watching a film about pollen. In the words of last year’s most popular meme “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That.”
Overall, the DVD releases were my least favorite Disneynature films released, though the Crimson Wing was still good, this was just bad. For Crimson Wing, I could commend them for some gorgeous shots, but this film’s scenes just didn’t have the same “umppph” that the former had.
Let me know your thoughts on the film below or on the discussion boards.