The endangered primates of Madagascar take center stage in the IMAX 3D nature documentary entitled Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. The 40-minute feature gives the audience a majestic view of the lemurs’ exotic habitat on the southeastern African nation, as well as their journey across the Indian Ocean to their home. However, the film’s most significant message involves the preservation of these endangered species.
Island of Lemurs is narrated by multi-awarded actor Morgan Freeman, who has also lent his distinctively deep and authoritative voice to the 2005 sci-fi disaster film War of the Worlds and the 2005 French nature documentary March of Penguins. Freeman declared that children must be educated on the importance of “plain old diversity” on Earth in order to lessen its destruction, which he referred to as a “catastrophe”.
The documentary follows primatologist Dr. Patricia C. Wright as she carries out her mission of saving certain species of lemurs from complete extinction. She digs into the dense Madagascar jungle searching for possible mates for the few remaining lemur species.
There are approximately 100 living species of lemurs in existence, and viewers get acquainted with a few of them in the documentary.
Lemurs have not been given much attention until DreamWorks’ animated film franchise Madagascar was released in 2005. The films featured British actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s voice as the lemur King Julien and Andy Richter as a mouse lemur. Interestingly, Dr. Wright pointed out that lemur society is matriarchal, which means that a queen character would have been more appropriate.
The film’s prologue relates the arrival of lemurs in Madagascar through a great storm that took over Africa more than 60 million years ago. The absence of predators on the island allowed the highly-evolved primates to thrive in their habitat, and the film somewhat zeroes in on the first species that existed then.
Island of Lemurs is directed by frequent IMAX collaborator David Douglas and written by Madagascar writer-producer Drew Fellman. The film premieres April 4th.
‘Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar’ Trailer
Morgan Freeman talks about documentary
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