To the Arctic 3D (2012)

  • Year: 2012
  • Released: 20 Apr 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: 1 win & 1 nomination
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: G
  • Genre: Documentary, Short
  • Runtime: 40 min
  • Writer: Stephen Judson
  • Director: Greg MacGillivray
  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Leanne Allison, Karsten Heuer
  • Keywords: polar bear, arctic polar circle region, nature documentary, short film,
64% – Critics
66% – Audience

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To the Arctic 3D Movie Reviews

An artic tale

Seeing ‘To the Arctic 3D’ was never going to be in any doubt. Have loved nature documentaries for a long time, have always loved learning about polar bears and they are always interesting in every documentary they feature in and although the Arctic is a familiar documentary location there is always something new to learn about it. Do appreciate anything with some kind of message, regardless of how they are eventually executed. Meryl Streep has proven many times that she can narrate beautifully.

‘To the Arctic 3D’ has a lot to like about it. It is never going to be one of my favourite nature documentaries and to me there are better polar bear documentaries around and better IMAX documentaries around. It is still worth watching if one wants to see as many polar bear documentaries and IMAX ones as well (the latter ones have been interesting watches but variable ones too, this is neither among the best or worst). Nothing really is done terribly, though one aspect does bring things down by quite a lot, but the flaws are again uneven. It is not one of the best nature documentaries out there or a milestone, but it is not one of the worst either.

Am going to start with the good things. The production values are absolutely impeccable all round. This is another fine example of an environment that is exquisite to look at but very harsh with its challenges, photographed vividly and beautifully. The polar bears look absoluely ravishing up close and a lot is learnt about them and it is stuff that is illuminating rather than repeating already known facts.

Furthermore, the way it is told is touching and doesn’t hold back. The narration is delivered beautifully. The polar bears are truly fascinating and very easy to relate to in all kinds of situations. The music on its own is nice. Did think that the message was admirable and it is a relevant and important issue and still needs to be addressed.

On the other hand, there are things that could have been done better in ‘To the Arctic 3D’. Did feel that it could have made its points with a lot more subtlety, as it is rather heavy-handed and also on the one-sided side. All doom and gloom and not much hope, and it does unbalance the film in my view. As said the music is nice on its own but is used too much and doesn’t gel stylistically, a gentler tone was needed.

While Streep narrates beautifully, the narration is on the underused side. The IMAX doesn’t look cheap but in my mind it wasn’t needed and the film feels too short.

Concluding, not great and inconsistent but a lot impresses and the intentions are noble. 6/10.

Not bad, but not fulfilled its potential either

“To the Arctic 3D” is an IMAX 40-minute nature documentary from 3 years ago. 2-time Oscar nominee MacGillivray and Stephen Judson worked on many of these, so lack of experience certainly is not an issue here. same goes for narrator Meryl Streep. I think she mostly does a fine job. It’s not great, but I liked how clear she spoke that even non-native English speakers like myself have no problem understanding the contents. I did not like the male narrator though. No idea why they had to include a second voice. In terms of the contents, it’s not bad, but could have been better. Sometimes it felt artificially dramatic and there is one part with really bad music in the last third of the film that would have fit an animated movie for little children. No idea what they were thinking there. However, what we see is nice. The arctic is as beautiful to look at like the polar bears and the other animals in here. Some of the information are fine and new, but in terms of telling us something new this film also comes short. It partly makes up for that in terms of the emotion and display of maternal love we have here. All in all, a decent watch that still misses out on greatness though.

sometime beautiful

Meryl Streep narrates this environmental IMAX nature film. Paul McCartney provides the songs. There is a warning about global warming projecting declining ice-coverage to the year 2050. This follows a mother polar bear and her two cubs. There are also other life such as the herd of caribou, underwater life, and the people of the north. There is one particularly intense scene as the polar bear family is chased by a large male. Otherwise, the animal photography is functional without being exceptional. There are some beautiful grand sweeping vistas. I would have liked more underwater filming of the tiny creatures. As a nature film, this is good enough. The environmentalism can be grating. Sometimes, it’s not necessary to preach so much.