Polar bears in peril are at the centre of To the Arctic, a nature documentary in IMAX 3D that addresses the dangers of global warming.
The huge IMAX 3D format is, as always, somewhat overwhelming -- just the thing to help put across the astonishing grandeur of the arctic region.
To the Arctic is narrated by Meryl Streep. Opening footage establishes that we're visiting a spot unlike anywhere else, all towering cliffs of ice and cascading iceberg waterfalls. The movie arranges itself around animal families and their struggle for survival, and so we see walrus, caribou and polar bear mothers and babies in action.
The film follows the polar bears in particular, as the mother and her seven-month-old cubs do their best to find food in a rapidly changing environment. The ever-shrinking polar ice cap and warmer ocean temperatures have forced wildlife to change feeding and migration patterns; alterations in food supply make those cubs look like a tasty treat to a male polar bear who pursues the family.
But fear not. The message in To the Arctic is environmental gentle, and the film has been created for all ages, especially children. The movie educates without shouting by showing a very large ecological problem through the activities of one small family.
To the Arctic is directed by Greg MacGillivray (Everest; Hurricane On The Bayou), a master of the IMAX format.
The film is a wonder to look at and it's endlessly fascinating; the only sour note is a soundtrack so intrusive and so often gloomy that it will yank you out of the movie more than once.