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DVD Reviews:  Wild Australasia (E)

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Adam Dumicich
Distributed by:
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Running Time: 294 Minutes





“Australia is a continent like no other on Earth”. Well Duh! I hear you say, why do we need a documentary to tell us how unique our beloved country is? Well, prepared to be shocked, because this is a documentary that proves to us that we are like no other, better than we could have imagined. 

I have long believed that the BBC is possibly the most spectacular of all documentary makers. Sure, ‘The Discovery Channel’ and the ABC have there moments, sometimes they are even on a par with the BBC, but the BBC is a constant source of fabulous, informative, exciting and enjoyable work. Wild Australasia certainly does not disappoint. Never before have I been so amazed to learn about a topic that I thought I knew a fair bit about. Over the 2 discs (3 episodes per disc) you will be bombarded with information on Australia (and a small amount on New Zealand), however not to the point where you have trouble following. The amount of animals that are unique to Australia is quite astounding, although understandable when we are so far from other continents. Creatures like the moth fish, and spectacles like sharks, with the help of tuna, herding fish into a school so dense it appears to be an oil slick when viewed from above. These are the scenes that dominate the documentary, and they are absolutely amazing! Another thing you may notice with the disc is the ‘circle of life’ concept, by this I mean how everything is eaten by something above it in the food chain. No animal is made out to be the villain (with the exception of seagulls, but not in the same sense) for eating another animal the way they have always done to survive, and it makes for a much more satisfying watch.  

Basically, whether or not you consider yourself a fan of documentaries, I guarantee you’ll learn something from this set, and you may even be turned into a fan by watching. If you however already are a fan, then you would be crazy not to add this to your collection. Congrats to the BBC for some fantastic work, even by their standards.


Ranging from good to breathtaking the video is unlikely to disappoint. For the most part you will see brilliant color reproduction, excellent levels of sharpness and almost zero grain. The one thing you will find wrong with video is the motion artifacts. Appearing quite often around fast moving images (like a flock of budgerigars, or a cuttlefish attacking its prey). With this added to the slight grain problems (of which are most likely the cause of the source material not the transfer) you may think this disc problematic. But to be honest you barely notice it, and the fact that the feature is in widescreen also is a positive.


Its pretty much standard here, there’s 2.0 channel audio for the whole disc, with the narration being perfectly clear throughout. Whilst nothing extraordinary, there’s also nothing to complain about either.


Two more documentaries are contained in the extras section of the discs. Wildlife on One Special – Possums: Tales of the Unexpected, and The penguin parade, adding about 40 minutes more onto the already expansive running time. There is also a fact file contained on the first disc, with information on 10 different animals around Australia, some native, some not. The only problem I have with the extras at all was the navigation of the fact file, you have to go through each page one by one, and with 30 odd pages, this could take some time to find what you are looking for. Other than that, there is little to complain about. A well rounded and useful set of extras, which could have contained more, but in them, are more than satisfactory.


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