You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Flight of the Butterflies

Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in "Flight of the Butterflies," an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues.

With:
With: Gordon Pinsent, Shaun Benson, Patricia Phillips, Sofia Sisniega, Stephanie Sigman. Narrator: Megan Follows.

Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on field trips and please family auds during weekend outings.

Slee and co-scripter Wendy MacKeigan follow the life cycle of a monarch butterfly — from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult insect — and its long-distance migration from Canada to Central Mexico. Intertwined with this narrative is a borderline-reverential account of Canadian scientist Fred Urquhart (Gordon Pinsent), who devoted nearly 40 years to tracing the monarch migration route. Despite Pinsent’s affecting earnestness, however, highlights from Urquhart’s life and research come off like stately, self-conscious dramatic re-enactments in a lesser cable-TV nonfiction series. “Flight of the Butterflies” is much more effective when it dazzles with literally larger-than-life spectacle, unleashing hundreds of 3D butterflies that appear to hover just inches away from viewers, or focusing on a single monarch that, in giant-screen closeup, resembles Mothra bearing down on Tokyo.

Flight of the Butterflies

Canada-Mexico-U.K.

Production: An SK Films release and production in association with Sin Sentido Films and Picture Projects. Produced by Jonathan Barker, Mike Slee, Rafael Cuervo. Executive producer, Jonathan Barker. Co-executive producers, Wendy MacKeigan, Maria Elena Gutierrez. Directed by Mike Slee. Written by Slee, Wendy MacKeigan.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color, Imax 3D), Paul Williams, Simon De Glanville; editor, Susan Shipton; production designer, Sandra Kybartas; sound, Peter Thillaye; macro photography systems designer, Peter Parks; visual effects supervisor, Chris Panton. Reviewed at Houston Museum of Natural Science, Oct. 6, 2012. Running time: 44 MIN.

With: With: Gordon Pinsent, Shaun Benson, Patricia Phillips, Sofia Sisniega, Stephanie Sigman. Narrator: Megan Follows.

More Film

  • Bradley Cooper Robert De Niro

    Bradley Cooper on His Secret Pact With Lady Gaga for 'A Star is Born'

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • The seagull

    Tribeca Film Review: 'The Seagull'

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • Verne TroyerStarkey Hearing Foundation Awards Gala,

    Verne Troyer, Mini-Me in 'Austin Powers,' Dies at 49

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • 'Greatest Showman' Tops Disc Sales Charts

    'Greatest Showman' Tops Disc Sales Charts as 'Last Jedi' Slips to No. 2

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • Stockholm review

    Tribeca Film Review: Ethan Hawke in 'Stockholm'

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • READY PLAYER ONE

    Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' Crosses $500 Million Worldwide

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

  • Hans Zimmer90th Annual Academy Awards, Roaming

    Hans Zimmer to Receive Steiner Award at Hollywood in Vienna Gala

    Phenomenal 3D Imax visuals more than compensate for prosaic storytelling in “Flight of the Butterflies,” an unabashedly old-fashioned nature docu best suited to museums and similar non-theatrical venues. Borrowing a page from the “March of the Penguins” playbook, helmer Mike Slee neatly balances entertainment and education in a 44-minute pic bound to fascinate schoolchildren on […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content