Arctic Tale (DVD)

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 July, 2008, 12:00am

Acombination of the messages in Happy Feet, March of the Penguins and An Inconvenient Truth, Arctic Tale owes its creation to the penguin tales that preceded it. And was unlikely to have been so successful had An Inconvenient Truth not help spark a global campaign for climate change.

It's not that Arctic Tale isn't worthy of some attention. Following the life cycles of polar bear cub Nanu and walrus calf Seela, it features some splendid, rarely-captured sights and sounds extracted from 800 hours of footage filmed over 15 years.

Scenes of polar bear cubs sliding clumsily in the snow and a walrus calf struggling to climb up a rocky path are adorable and funny. The orchestra-like sounds of a walrus colony passing gas will make you burst out laughing.

There are touching, heart-warming moments, like a mother polar bear giving birth, and the spectacular natural phenomenon of a continental glacier splitting in the summer heat.

The film shows how Nanu and Seela struggle to survive in the changing climate. Thin glaciers make hunting difficult for Nanu, while the shrinking icebergs reduce the number of places Seela and her family can live.

The problem with Arctic Tale is that it's just too cute. Viewers may forget it's a documentary and feel it lacks a storyline. But this is real life and Nanu and Seela really do need our help.