Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Backyard Wilderness – A Spellbinding Documentary

Backyard Wilderness will surprise and entertain viewers with the unexpected wonders of nature that are right under our noses – in our own backyards. Spanning a seasonal year around a suburban home, the film displays a stunning array of unique wildlife images and behavior – all captured by cameras mounted inside dens and nests, and moving along the forest floor and pond bottom, to reveal its inhabitants in rare and breathtaking intimacy. We follow Katie, a young girl, and her modern family living next to the woods who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them, absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. Katie gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door and we experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world. The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that sometimes in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that can transform you forever – you just need to step outside. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Backyard Wilderness is a spellbinding documentary capturing magical moments in nature that we rarely get to see on camera or in our day-to-day lives and puts them on a large and intense scale.” See his full review below.

Backyard Wilderness
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Backyard Wilderness is a spellbinding documentary capturing magical moments in nature that we rarely get to see on camera or in our day-to-day lives and puts them on a large and intense scale.

This 3D IMAX film follows Katie, a young girl who lives in a house surrounded by a bustling woodland of animals and plants. Katie and her family are oblivious to the fascinating occurrences in the world around them because they are consumed by the technology at their fingertips. At school, she is assigned a report on animals. She chooses the spotted salamander whose whole life cycle happens right outside her house and her adventure begins.

The cinematography in Backyard Wilderness brilliantly highlights the beauty and vastness of the forests which are the main setting and leaves you wondering how they were able to get such unique moments on film. The film brings exciting moments to the screen such as when a pack of coyotes chase some deer or when you witness the dangerous journey of spotted salamanders to their breeding ground.

 My favorite scene is when a group of newly hatched baby wood ducklings exit their nest for the first time and try to fly. You will laugh and cheer at the same time and the filmmakers use a perfect song to score this fun and adorable scene.

The lesson of the film is that there is an active and energetic world around us that is always worth exploring. As a society, we have become so concerned with social media that we forget to notice what is happening right in our backyards. Katie’s life changes when she lets go of her electronics and begins to explore the landscape beside her home.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. You will learn a lot from this film about how certain species interact with one another and thrive. It is very educational and has a valuable message. Adults and older kids will still enjoy the breathtaking visuals. I give it  4 out of 5 stars. If you like nature documentaries and the larger-than-life world of IMAX with some cool 3D effects, I highly recommend it. Backyard Wilderness is playing around the country in select IMAX theaters now.



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