Raising The Mammoth

Raising The Mammoth (2000)
Artisan Entertainment
Extras: Fact File, Time Line, Interview, Scientist Biographies

’Raising The Mammoth’ aired earlier this year on the Discovery Channel to an enthusiastic audience. In beautiful images, viewers got the chance to witness a French expedition discovering and excavating the remains of a mammoth from the icy grip of the Arctic Circle. Like most programming shown on the Discovery Channel, ’Raising The Mammoth’ was a staggering and breathtaking documentary that perfectly delivered information and education in a way that is uniquely intriguing and entertaining. Not without reason do these documentaries rank among the best in the field. Artisan Home Entertainment is now bringing this 95-minute production to DVD in collaboration with the Discovery Channel.

The DVD features the film’s original fullframe transfer and the presentation on this DVD is absolutely gorgeous. Shot on video, the production has a surprisingly natural look and is mostly free of video artifacts. No noise distracts from the experience and the colors in the film are well-balanced and always very well saturated. Blacks are good and solid and highlights never bleed. Color delineation is perfect and since the presentation is free of any compression artifacts, ’Raising The Mammoth’ looks noticeably better on this DVD than it did during its TV broadcast.

The disc features a stereo audio track in Dolby Digital and as expected, the track is well produced. Given the nature of the programming, the narration, which has been supplied by Jeff Bridges, is the most important aspect, and it is delivered well with interesting insight. Free of distortion, the audio is clear and without noise, creating a solid sonic foundation for the film.

A Mammoth Fact File, and biographies of the scientists involved in the project can also be found on the disc, as well as a text interview with the French Explorer Bernard Buigues, who first discovered the mammoth in 1997. The release is rounded off by a Mammoth timeline, an insightful chart over multiple pages that offers information about the rise and death of these behemoths, as well as significant research steps conducted in the field.

If you watched the show on TV and liked it, you should give this DVD a look. Although it doesn’t offer much additional material, the presentation is much better than on TV. Everyone who missed it, but is interested in learning more about these extinct animals, this is a fascinating exploration that comes highly recommended.