In celebration of Earth Day, Walt Disney Home Entertainment is bringing Disneynature's latest documentary, Wings of Life, to Blu-ray. The visually stunning look at the intricate world of butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and bats, and their life-sustaining collaboration with flowers arrives on April 16th.
Directed by Louie Schwartzberg (America's Heart & Soul) and narrated by Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, Wings of Life employs multiple cameras, time-lapse and high-speed cinematography, and extraordinary patience to great effect. Its filmmakers shot on location in more than a dozen areas, ranging from the El Rosario Preserve in Michoacán, Mexico, to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Park in Arizona. The documentary also features extraordinary imagery shot with digital cameras (one capable of frame rates of up to 1500 frames per second) and the use of a pinhole lens, which allowed the cameraman to get within millimeters of an insect subject while retaining a clear view of the background. The resulting imagery is intimate and breathtaking, and brought to life for audiences through spectacular high-definition picture and sound.
"In the chaos and craziness of our day-to-day lives, few of us stop to consider what's happening behind the scenes in nature that makes our lives possible," said Streep. "This film is a stunning adventure that literally takes flight alongside all kinds of winged creatures—butterflies, bees and bats—each working hard to pollinate our planet."
Said Schwartzberg, "For me, the joy of doing this film is to be able to explore worlds that humans can't easily experience—bats sipping nectar in the middle of the desert at night, orchid bees expertly manipulated by a bucket orchid, exotic hummingbirds flying like airborne dancers, and a clustering monarch colony with millions of butterflies. I hope to share the spectacle of nature and to spark in others the sense of wonder I have about the natural world."
Although special features have yet to be detailed, the Wings of Life Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack includes a sneak peek at Disneynature's 2014 big-screen adventure, Bears. In an epic story of breathtaking scale set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, the film, which is currently in production, follows two mother grizzly bears as they impart life lessons to their impressionable young cubs.
Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world's top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first four Disneynature films, "Earth," "Oceans," "African Cats" and "Chimpanzee," are four of the top five highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with "Chimpanzee" garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Disney's commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and Disneynature films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening-week attendance for all four films, Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, has planted three million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya, protected 129,236 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat, educated 60,000 school children about chimpanzee conservation and cared for chimpanzees.