Amazonia DVD Review

  • Actors: Martin Sheen
  • Director: Thierry Ragobert
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2016
  • Run Time: 93 minutes

        Amazonia is a strange amalgamation of scripted narrative film and nature documentary, which seems unconventional by today’s standards despite a tradition of these type of films from Disney in the past. Though the facts about nature are accurate and informative, we follow a single narrative involving a monkey which has clearly been fabricated as the vehicle for the delivery of educational information. Though there may be some who will prefer the realism of actual nature documentary material, Amazonia is perfect for younger audiences unaccustomed to the more unpredictable elements of nature. This G-rated film provide educational information within the safety of a sanitized script.

        The loose narrative follows the journey of a trained Capuchin monkey that suddenly finds himself in the Amazon jungle for the first time after the plane transporting him crashes. Forced to fend for himself for the first time, this tiny creature navigates his way through the jungle, giving the audience a tour of the many marvels and dangers that the wilderness has to offer along the way. Eventually the small monkey finds a group of wild Capuchins, though he must convince them that he belongs.

        Though the story for Amazonia is extremely simplistic, that does not mean it is dull. There are so many dangers facing our small hero that the viewing experience is often quite stressful. Even with the guarantee of a happy ending, I can imagine some of the more frightening sequences may not go over well with extremely young viewers. The plane crash sequence is an obvious concern, though this is only the beginning of intense situation our monkey hero finds himself in. Children may also have some difficulty understanding the environmental message inserted into the narrative at the end, though it certainly has modern relevance.

        Originally released in 3D, I’m afraid some of the spectacle of the film has been lost in the transfer to home entertainment. The DVD version doesn’t even have the high definition detail to marvel at, though it does have a few extras that kids will appreciate. Along with a making-of featurette to show how they filmed the story without ever putting the monkey star in danger, there are also mini bonus documentary episodes, which focus on creatures outside of the Amazon as well. There is also a trailer gallery.    
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5.5/10
Historical Significance:  3/10
Special Features: 0/10

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