Well-lensed primer on one of Mother Nature's more harrowing trips reps fine educational fare.

It takes 25 years for a loggerhead turtle to make its way from Florida to the other side of the Atlantic and back again, but it took only two years for resourceful Brit filmmaker Nick Stringer to chronicle the voyage in the visually resplendent “Turtle: The Incredible Journey.” Subtly anthropomorphizing its chosen species in traditional nature-doc fashion, this well-lensed primer on one of Mother Nature’s more harrowing trips reps fine educational fare for tots and should get by swimmingly in tube, homevid and possible theatrical channels.

Opening sequence, set on a Florida beach, crosscuts rather over-dramatically between a newly hatched loggerhead and a predatory crab, immediately establishing the prey-or-be-preyed-upon threat that will characterize the turtle’s long journey ahead — through the Gulf Stream to the Azores, an archipelago nearly 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal, then back home to lay its eggs. Along the way, a stately supporting cast of whales, sharks, jellyfish and luminescent microbes offer abundant distractions for Rory McGuinness’ HD camera. Music is a tad over-insistent, but Miranda Richardson’s narration strikes the right note of awe.

Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Germany - U.K.


A Sola Media (Germany) presentation, in association with MTN Movies, Filmsat59, the Save Our Seas Foundation, supported by Filmstiftung NRW, Austrian Film Institute, ORF -- Austrian Broadcasting Corp., in co-production with Tradewind Pictures, Allegro Film, of a Big Wave and Film & Music Entertainment (U.K.) production. (International sales: Sola Media, Stuttgart, Germany.) Produced by Sarah Cunliffe, Mike Downey, Sam Taylor. Executive producers, Chris Clarke, Zorana Piggott, Mike Tims. Co-producers, Thomas Springer, Helmut G. Weber, Katharina Bogensberger, Helmut Grasser, Solveig Langeland, Beatrix Wesle. Directed by Nick Stringer. Written by Melanie Finn.


Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Rory McGuinness; editors, Richard Wilkinson, Sean Barton; music, Henning Lohner. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Sprockets Family Zone), Sept. 12, 2009. English dialogue. Running time: 79 MIN.


Narrator: Miranda Richardson

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