Queen Latifah narrates this National Geographic documentary about a polar bear and a walrus on their perilous journeys from birth to parenthood.
More kid-friendly and storylike than March of the Penguins, this real-life drama gets personal by giving names to its main characters and presenting their tale with humor and a pop music soundtrack. The movie, co-written by Al Gore's daughter Kristen, puts a furry and whiskered face on global warming and unflinchingly reveals the consequences of ignoring the signs. Be sure to stay through the credits when a new generation of conservationists shows their peers easy and practical ways to help the animals. For a story that takes place in temperatures of 40 below zero, the movie manages to convey a feeling that's downright warm.
This movie is intended for older children.
There are too many scenes that preschoolers will find frightening, especially as they get to know Nanu, the polar bear, and Seala, the walrus, more intimately. These animals that live on top of the world are absolutely enchanting, but that only makes it more disturbing when they're faced with melting ice and the possibility of starvation.
Kids will fall in love with Nanu and Seala, and will be astonished--and impressed--by the animals' fierce will to survive. They will be awestruck by the power of Nanu's mother when she breaks through the ice, determined to find dinner for her babies and may start to appreciate the ease of their own lives and the fact that they can just grab food from the fridge when they're hungry. Seeing what these animals have to go through just to stay alive may inspire them to lead a green movement in their own homes.
Tweens will be intrigued to learn that walruses can eat 4,000 clams in a meal and that they use their whiskers to memorize each other's faces for life. Even more amazing to them, though, may be the fact that deep emotions--love, grief, loyalty--are not exclusive to humans. Although tweens are at an age where they're trying to become more independent, they'll find it heartbreaking when Nanu's mother pushes her away at two years old because she can't protect her any more.