Child-pandering and overly anthropomorphized, Arctic Tale
is a blatant cash-grab by National Geographic Films. Apparently, Nat Geo thought that by repeating the exact formula of their March of the Penguins
' but making it even dumber and more condescending ' they could reach an even wider audience. Loading this tale of a baby walrus (cute!) and a baby polar bear (cuter!!!) with fart jokes, global-warming messaging and ' oh my god ' narration by Queen Latifah results in nothing more than a clunky, manipulative disaster. Even the in-the-wild footage, the company's typically undisputed area of expertise, is disappointing. While the folks at Discovery Channel captured all manner of exciting, crisply shot film for their Planet Earth
series, the photographers on this shoot seemed to have trouble with focusing, framing and, often, even keeping the camera steady. The grainy underwater footage looks horrible on the big screen, which is a big disadvantage for a movie about polar bears and walruses. There are a lot of smart, engaging ways to make nature films that go beyond pure documentation; Arctic Tale
employs none of them.