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RAISING THE MAMMOTH

Every now and again it is nice to watch something on DVD that is both entertaining and educational, RAISING THE MAMMOTH ($20) is a title that fits the bill nicely. RAISING THE MAMMOTH originally aired on The Discovery Channel and this documentary follows explorer Bernard Buigues, who hopes to raise the Jarkov Mammoth from the depths of an icy grave where it has been buried for over 20,000 years. The Siberian plain, where the Mammoth was discovered, is one of the harshest places on the planet for man to exist; yet Buigues and his team brave the fierce elements to release the mammoth from its resting place. Since preservation of the mammoth’s remains is of the utmost importance, the team was forced to dig it out of the ice while the temperatures remained below freezing (digging during the warmer summer season would have allowed the carcass to decompose). Unfortunately a violent storm descends upon Buigues and his team, which forcing them to abandon the dig for a year, before making a second attempt to raise the mammoth.

Now some of you are asking- why dig up the mammoth? Well, since the creature has been buried in Arctic ice for over twenty millennia, scientist hope that the mammoth’s flesh, hair and internal organs are preserved well enough for them to unlock the secrets of how these creatures lived and what their environment might have been like. Additionally, there are some scientists presented in the documentary also hope to find enough viable mammoth DNA to resurrect the mighty species. Pipe dream? Maybe, only time will tell. In addition to looking at the actual dig, RAISING THE MAMMOTH also presents a glimpse at mammoth evolution, as well as the species’ migratory habits. There are also segments with computer animation that depict mammoths on the Siberian plain with other species that still survive today.

RAISING THE MAMMOTH comes to DVD via Artisan Home Entertainment/Family Home Entertainment/The Discovery Channel. The documentary is presented as originally broadcast, in the television ratio. I would imagine that the DVD looks significantly better than what many people experienced through their local cable systems. Image quality is impressive for a documentary, offering a reasonably sharp and well-defined picture. Strong colors are brought out against contrasting backgrounds and are reproduced without distortion. This nicely authored DVD does not display any signs of digital compression artifacts. There is nothing to complain about in regards to the sound.

The two channel stereo audio track is clean sounding, as is actor Jeff Bridges narration.

Basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection feature as well as a few extras. Extras include biographies of the scientists involved with the expedition, plus a Mammoth Fact File, a Mammoth Timeline and A Conversation with French Explorer Bernard Buigues.

DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.

 
RAISING THE MAMMOTH 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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