The reviews are in! To The Arctic is wowing audiences with its stunning visuals of Arctic wildlife and its story about a special polar bear family learning to adapt to their changing Arctic home.
“I have so much admiration for Greg MacGillivray and his team and how they have captured impossible subjects and made them available to us in the most vivid ways. It’s unimaginable that they could capture this stuff. I’m so glad to be part of it.”
A BIG THANK YOU to the fifty IMAX® theatres that opened
The MacGillivray Freeman Films Team
What Critics Are Saying
"The IMAX image is in 3D, providing a dazzlingly immersive experience. It's a more impressionistic look than a thorough-going one -- yet each segment is meant to remind that you're seeing animals struggling to adapt, to survive as the climate changes around them. It's not meant to be authoritative; still, the blend of riveting visuals and stories of each species' shrinking habitat carries an impact. At 40 minutes, To The Arctic hopefully will be shown to kids in schools, on field trips to their local IMAX theater. It's a way of lighting the fuse of consciousness about looming environmental catastrophe, while offering a captivating film at the same time."
"To The Arctic 3D opens with a shot that's a jaw-dropper: a panoramic sweep over the honeycombed Arctic shelf, spouting beautiful yet destructive cascades of ice water."
“An Arctic tale that melts hearts.”
“You'll find yourself "ooh"-ing "ahh"-ing, especially at the adorable polar bear cubs and the fierce loyalty that their mother feels towards them."
“The superb nature footage takes in walruses and caribou as well as bears, but bears are at the center of the frozen stage, cavorting and snuggling on ever-shrinking ice floes when the temperature is 30 degrees below zero. To The Arctic 3D is an impassioned plea for action on global warming and the passion is intensified by the music. Watch the mother nestle her cubs to the strains of "Calico Skies"—"It was written that I would love you"—and you want to weep, then buy a solar panel."
“A riveting journey...To The Arctic is a visually dazzling movie. It gives us icebergs gushing with waterfalls cruelly made more majestic by the ice's rapid melting. It documents polar bears in all kinds or conditions and from just about every vantage point imaginable, including underwater and under siege."
"Greg MacGillivray's To The Arctic, the latest round of nature porn to hit the big screen, is less about storytelling and more about the stunning cinematic feats achieved in capturing life at 30 below. If you're not itching to throw on a Superman cape and save the whole damn world by the time the credits roll, we can't help you. Catch it in IMAX and 3D if you can swing it, because the gimmick works its butt off for this film."
"This is a lovingly and stunningly shot work, especially considering the frequently harsh weather conditions under which it was made in the beautiful and deadly Arctic Circle. Sweeping views of floating sea ice, closeups of waterfall-streaked glaciers, you-are-there peeks at the various beasts (polar bears, walruses, birds, caribou) that call them home, balletic underwater footage, bear cubs rolling and frolicking and sparring like Dempsey and Firpo - it's all larger than life and in your face, thanks to a towering IMAX screen and 3D specs that actually enhance the experience rather than simply cause annoyance."
"Acclaimed large-format documentary filmmaker Greg MacGillivray knows more than a thing or two about braving the elements. He led the team that made the chilling box-office hit Everest. And the lifelong surfer has made several fine IMAX films about the briny wilderness (The Living Sea, Dolphins, etc.) To The Arctic 3D kicks off a multi-platform education and conservation campaign that is an extension of the MacGillivray's new non-profit charitable foundation One World One Ocean. The giant screen seems like just the right place to show landlubbers why they should care more deeply about the world's oceans."
"Oscar-collector Meryl Streep narrates To The Arctic, a breathtaking new IMAX film about the top of the world, where rising temperatures threaten the survival of its inhabitants. The views of immense glittering glaciers, unending turquoise water and white waterfalls are of infinite grandeur. Two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins) and his team went to extraordinary lengths to bring viewers these images. The film runs a fast 40 minutes - it's like a PBS special supersized. But in that time, MacGillivray is able to inspire awe and warm the heart."
“The huge IMAX 3D format is, as always, somewhat overwhelming - just the thing to help put across the astonishing grandeur of the Arctic region. The film is a wonder to look at and it's endlessly fascinating."
"To The Arctic 3D comes by way of IMAX nature film whiz Greg MacGillivray. Meryl Streep narrates and Sir Paul McCartney wrote the songs, which are a lovely mix of lullabies and ballads for a small (getting smaller) planet and its creatures. Yes, it's a classy affair, but the 40-minute doc's at times nerve-wracking power comes from the subjects who put a furry face on the ongoing and daunting issue of climate change."
"Filmmaking and narration so good, it will give you the shivers. The film is beautifully made, and you will not be astonished to learn Meryl Streep's narration is perfect, latching on as it does to the theme of nature's moms trying to keep their kids safe. But it’s not fair to Arctic 3D to wish it were a different movie, especially since it is gorgeous, intelligent and clear."
"The 3D IMAX images are jaw-dropping."
“Breathtaking scene follows breathtaking eye-popping scene, each one seemingly better than the other as MacGillivray and his crackerjack team go out of their way to showcase this brutal and unforgiving landscape in all its beauteous fury. To The Arctic does offer up moments of ebullient beauty that held me spellbound."
"Beginning with a magical shower of 3D snowflakes, Greg MacGillivray's IMAX documentary The Arctic 3D takes us to the frozen north - or, rather, the not-so-frozen north. Its breathtaking photography has a purpose beyond pretty pictures: to remind us that climate change is causing the frigid Arctic to melt, bringing disruption and challenges to the animals who can only live in snow and ice. To The Arctic 3D is a visual treat, and an important reminder."
"The Arctic is melting out from under the paws (and flippers) of some of the world' most magnificent animals, a message cloaked in two unassailable truths - motherhood and cute babies - in the new IMAX film, To The Arctic 3D."
"They show the polar bears discovering some of the cameras…it's hilarious! Check out To The Arctic in all its breathtaking splendor and see what the future holds for the world's largest carnivore…the polar bear."
"From its opening scene, when the film throws tons of an ice continent at its audience, To The Arctic 3D is visually awesome. In terms of giving you the shivers, it's the coolest movie since ‘Doctor Zhivago.’"
“To The Arctic boasts some exceptional photography and is a wonderful film to take the family to. The film gets a B+ and is rated G."
"The pictures tell the story in this IMAX-filmed documentary by Everest Director Greg MacGillivray."
"To The Arctic 3D is being presented through the One World One Ocean Foundation. The director cites the work of Jacques Cousteau, who in the 1960's would broadcast as many as three or four ocean-related television specials a year. "The ocean needs a voice in the entertainment base, and we're going to try to bring the same continuity of effort that Cousteau did some 40 years ago, he says. To that end, in its closing credits To The Arctic offers concrete advice to viewers concerned about oceanic issues, especially with regard to energy. MacGillivray Freeman's commitment to environmental problems has helped place the company at the forefront of large-format film production. Titles like Everest, Dolphins and Grand Canyon Adventure have earned over a billion dollars at the box office, a new benchmark for documentary filmmakers. To Fly, the company's first IMAX production, is still screened regularly at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. "We love to take moviegoers to where they're not able to go on their own - into outer space, to the bottom of the ocean, to the top of Mount Everest," MacGillivray says. From its opening shots, a majestic aerial view of a glacial shelf complete with calving icebergs, To The Arctic 3D more than fulfills that goal."
“To The Arctic, a cast of polar bears will warm your heart. I am a huge fan of local (Laguna Beach) film company, MacGillivray Freeman Films. While they produce films that cover a vast number of different topics (from climbing Mt. Everest to underwater sealife to exotic lands) each film obviously originates from the same voice. For me, the commonality to this film company's films (the ones that I have seen) is that in addition to always having incredible cinematography, the films capture a part of humankind and its relationship with each other and the animal kingdom that evokes compassion. The message is a sense of universal oneness. Each film experience is richly satisfying and rewarding while also thought-provoking and in some cases worrying. Last weekend I was able to take my 12-year-old to a pre-screening of To The Arctic: 3D, a co-production from Warner Bros. Pictures, MacGillivray Freeman Films and IMAX Corporation, released in tandem with MacGillivray Freeman film's new campaign, One World One Ocean, a 20 year multi-platform project utilizing a variety of media in order to create awareness of the ocean's importance to the world. I was excited to sit back and let the giant-screen delude me into thinking that I was on the North Pole with the seemingly huggable polar bears. And the film delivered - it was stunning! Not "oh, that was really pretty!" Stun-NING!!: so intensely vivid one's mouth automatically drops open as one's eyes race to each corner of the screen trying to absorb the entire shot before it changes. Lush waterfalls carried from giant ice formations to water so blue it seems fake. Aerial shots of herds of animals so vast, it seems as though they must cover the entire planet. Playful shots of polar bear mothers and cubs that are reminiscent on one's own family time. It is the film's eye candy that is so enjoyable.
"To The Arctic 3D is filled with adorable animals. Opening on majestic waterfalls along icy cliffs with a sweeping view of gorgeous snowy vistas, it's easy to forget that the vast wilderness of the Arctic is shrinking. The honeyed voice-over of Meryl Streep informs us that the waterfalls are actually glacial ice sheets melting. Mixed in with incredible imagery, like 100,000 caribou pounding across a 800-mile trek, To The Arctic also shows compelling footage of them facing flooding and insect infestations on their annual migration to reach higher plains, a timeframe cut short by aborted winters and summers lasting a month longer, due to rising temps. Amazingly, in a succinct 40 minutes the viewer is awed and alarmed, captivated and inspired by To The Arctic which lays out the extreme conditions and consequences of climate change - shown in all of the Arctic’s glory. To The Arctic is the first release of the MacGillivray's One World One Ocean initiative, the winner of Treehugger's Reader's Choice for Best Ocean Conservation Campaign."
"To The Arctic is indeed an eye opening look into now the Arctic needs our protection."
"This is the type of film for which our theater was specifically built," says Craig Mince, theater manager of the Downtown Indy IMAX. "Watching polar bears dive into the frigid Arctic waters on our six-story screen and feel the rumble from a herd of caribou through 12,000 watts of digital surround sound stimulates the senses for sure." A journey to the top of the world as few people have ever seen it, To The Arctic 3D tells a tale of survival, with global implications."