Winged Migration (2001)
An odyssey over three years in the making, Winged Migration certainly is an amazing experience to behold. Its most impressive and moving achievement is its ability to draw the viewer into an almost foreign world, traveling along with a myriad of bird species as they undertake their semiannual migrations over vast distances. Just as MicroCosmos placed the viewer into an ant-sized world where blades of grass loomed like skyscrapers, Winged Migration offers the world through birds’ eyes.
We’re on the ground with them as they interact, look for sustenance, and care for their young; and we’re in the air with the birds as they dauntlessly fly high and low above the earth and sea. The film is also a tour of the globe that reveals gorgeous landscapes that most humans never get to see. One of the most unexpected delights of the film is listening to the many and varying voices of these creatures as they communicate with each other; it’s almost like a music track all its own.
As far as the actual music and score of the film, it is a mixed bag. Some musical choices interact nicely with the visuals, while many are overwrought and distracting. Usually the most effective moments are either without music or accompanied with minimalist compositions. The thrill of flying with the birds is countered with the depiction of the disasters and impediments that they face on a daily basis. (Barnes & Noble)