Pandas: The Journey Home Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Joely Richardson (Narrator)
  • Director: Nicolas Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, 3D, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 16, 2015
  • Run Time: 40 minutes



            Like most Imax short-subject documentaries, Pandas: The Journey Home attempts to make up in spectacle what it lacks in narrative depth. Unfortunately, much of this is lost in the transfer from massive screens to home entertainment. In an effort to compensate for the loss of scope, the high definition presentation of the Blu-ray offers both 2D and 3D versions of the film, with a second disc including the DVD format.


            There is actually more of a story within Pandas than some of the other Imax shorts that I have watched, but it lacks a certain level of resolution. The film gives audiences an inside look at the efforts to save the panda population within the Wolong Panda Center in China. This includes some grittier elements of repopulation which may be a bit advanced for younger audience members just hoping to see cute footage of young pandas. 


            With the population of pandas reaching an adequate level in captivity, the center works to release pandas back into the wild to procreate naturally. Much of the film focuses on the preparation to make sure that one panda named Tau Tau is ready for this step. If only the film was provided more of a postscript to let us know how this release turned out, it might have the chance to feel complete. Even with the abrupt resolution, Pandas offers some fantastic photography of the animals, particularly when they are youngest and most vulnerable and cute.


            The special features include a short featurette about the efforts to save pandas.


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance:  4/10

    Special Features: 3.5/10

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