PBS’ Nature has always been one of its best shows. And compared to so many other shows of its ilk that are out there it is the cream of the crop. Its latest release, An Original DUCKumentary proves yet again why Nature is the prime example of a wildlife show done right.
An Original DUCKumentary takes viewers into the lives of some of our fine-feathered friends from birth to adulthood. This is a wonderful program for the entire family and for ornithologists and those studying aviary sciences. General audiences will love simply watching the feature’s outstanding cinematography while those with a deeper interest in the different species of ducks will appreciate both the cinematography and the more scientific explanations of each species’ general body construction and habits. The subtle narration by acting veteran Paul Giamatti (Sideways, The Illusionist, Cosmopolis) is a nice touch, too. There’s something about his delivery that is perfect for just such a setting as this. Both Lenny Williams and Chris Biondo are also to be commended in this new feature from PBS. The pair was responsible for the music used as a bed throughout the show. Just as Giamatti’s delivery was a perfect fit for narration, the control of the music by Biondo and Williams’ gentle musical touch added its own extra subtle nuance to the presentation.
The narration and music definitely play their own part in the success of An Original DUCKumentary as already noted. This is something that far too often, documentarians get wrong in crafting their presentations. Together, the pair have come together to make a presentation that will keep audiences engaged and entertained. One example of that match comes in a scene in which a number of different species of ducks had come together at a stopping point on their migration. Giamatti describes almost as if he were right there in person how each group actually works together in its own way to protect all of the ducks from predators while others rest and look for their mates. There’s something oddly humorous about Giammati’s delivery as he talks about the male ducks’ attempts to lure a female. There’s almost a certain slightly dry wit about his narration as he talks about the birds’ mating habits.
Along with the narration, music, and cinematography, there is one other aspect of An Original DUCKumentary that makes it enjoyable for both general audiences and those more deeply interested in studying ducks. That factor is the inclusion of a listing of each duck featured throughout the feature at its end. Audiences are presented with a collage of different ducks that is highlighted, one duck at a time, complete with its name. It serves as one more way to get audiences who might have otherwise not had any interest in studying ducks interested for the first time. For those who are more seasoned birders, it’s just one more bonus as it specifically highlights each species featured. Along with the other noted aspects of this feature, it’s one more reason for any viewer of any level of experience to check out this stand out dock…er…DUCKumentary. It’s available now on DVD and can be ordered online direct via the PBS store at http://www.shoppbs.org.
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