The White Planet

The White Planet

(La Planète blanche)
(2007)

A French nature documentary on the  creatures that inhabit the North Pole. With unsettling facts about the melting landmass (in 30 years, the Antarctic has lost nearly two times the surface area of France), the footage has been captured on celluloid by intrepid outdoor specialists Thierry Ragobert and Thierry Piantanida.... More

The film boasts amazing set pieces such as the birth of two polar bears and their first tentative steps outside three months later. Also featured are the amazing narwhals (walruses with strange unicorn-style spears), primitive glowing entities under the ice, and armies of caribou on the march.Hide

Flicks Review

Blimey. It doesn’t take long for this film to remind us of how powerful nature is, and how insignificant we human beings are in ‘the scheme of things’. As we are taken across frozen seas, immense plains, tundra, mountains and glaciers, one might feel like a cup of tea and a lie down. Take a deep breath, because The White Planet is awe-inspiring.

The sights are frequently amazing, from the birth of two polar bear cubs in an underground burrow, to phosphorescent jellyfish under the ice. From an army of caribou swimming in single file across a massive lake, to ghostly beluga whales gliding through the dark ocean; the photography used to capture these is quite impressive.

And the soundtrack is fascinating, too. Native Inuit music gets a Lord of the Rings makeover; it’s all very dramatic. Every new creature gets their own unique theme. It’s hard not to come out of the cinema yelping like the little Inuit child on the soundtrack: “Do-ay! Do-ay! Heioooo!”

What ultimately lets the entire film down, however, is a ridiculous narration. Possibly suffering from a direct translation from French to English, some Canadian guy proclaims such clunky statements as “Life gives way to life” or “The darkness banishes the sun.” Also, information on global warming is fairly slim and don’t really examine much. It all seems very dated, and the film doesn’t quite have the style or panache that we might expect from a documentary in 2007.

Nevertheless, The White Planet is an amazing spectacle, captured on celluloid by some intrepid filmmakers. And as with all nature documentaries, it’s hard to keep yourself from shouting ‘Run!’ to the poor lemming as the wolf approaches.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 3 reviews
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I've never seen such a documentary visually and early breathtaking at the same time... this is one of the best ever made. We don't have to say anything more but... four thumbs!


Like 'blue planet' we are guided through a visually stunning environment and the creatures which inhabit it. While the film is stunning and there are some remarkable shots i was pinning for more information. Its a documentary of delights rather than facts. Still a very good watch.


This film shows the Arctic wildlife in all of its stunning glory. It has everything from the cute doe eyed seal pups to the playful polar bear pups. Although I am studying ecology some of the underwater creatures still blew me away by their absolutely weird appearance.

The environmental message is only subtly hinted at late in the film.


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The Press Reviews

  • All in all this is a spectacular and memorable piece of film making. If you're looking after the nippers in the next few weeks, I think they will be entranced. And if you're planning a date, believe me, a newborn baby polar bear is pretty much a new definition of the word 'cute'... Full Review

  • La plan?te blanche will please audiences with its sweeping landscapes that certainly merit to be seen at the cinema, and scenes of the en-masse trek of the caribou are impressive to say the least. But beyond the visual spectacle that is provided by nature (if framed by the filmmakers), there is impressively little substance to warrant neither a full recommendation nor a Penguins-style success... Full Review

  • Breathtaking wildlife documentary heavily disfigured by a banal, anthropomorphising commentary... Full Review

  • 1/2 We cover everything Arctic – from the freezing depths beneath the blue ice, to the earth, sea and wind. The arctic rabbit and a pregnant polar bear are the first on the scene, but there's a large ensemble cast of cold-resistant wildlife, including the arctic wolf eating some sort of snow gerbil or ice guinea pig, cute harpseal pups (how could anyone club those cuties to death?), hooded seals and their inflatable noses, whales, plus the magnificent migrating caribou and a bird that looks like a flying penguin (thick-billed murrhs). The narwhals are a particularly fascinating sight with their unicorn- like single tusks rising out of the ice maze... Full Review

  • A captivating docu profiling the some strange, some adorable -- but all endangered -- denizens of the North Pole. Although this critters-in-the-cold venture will inevitably be compared with the South Pole-set "March of the Penguins," this handsomely mounted, narratively convincing pic was under way before anybody knew there was box office gold in them thar snowbanks... Full Review