Monday, June 25, 2012

DVD Review: "NATURE: THE WHITE LIONS" -- I Can See Why It Is Rated 5 Stars Out of 5


NATURE: The White Lions DVD -

Available Now on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution today announced it is releasing “NATURE: THE WHITE LIONS” on DVD and Blu-ray. White lions are among the rarest and most treasured animals in the world. Rarer still is their survival in the wild.  Their white color stands out in Africa’s wild bush country, increasing their risk of being targeted and killed by rival predators and marauding adult male lions. Only three white cubs have reached adulthood in the wilds of South Africa since white lions were first documented there in 1975. Now, two white cubs, sisters, have beaten the odds, surviving all the challenges of their youth with the help of two remarkable lionesses – their mother, Matimba, and their aunt, Khanya, a mother with two young tawny cubs of her own. Without an adult male lion to protect their small pride, Matimba and Khanya must rely solely on their own knowledge, strength and courage to protect their family. NATURE tracks the cubs and their mothers as they struggle to survive all the dangers they are faced with in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The DVD and Blu-ray release of this program is now available for purchase. The program has a run time of 60 minutes. The DVD has an SRP of $19.99 and the Blu-ray has an SRP of $24.99.

Program Synopsis
Used primarily for communication and camouflage, color is one of nature’s most dependable defenses. White lions lose the ability to blend in to their surroundings, exposing them to other predators as well as jeopardizing their own ability to hunt. Overcoming their heightened visibility may be the greatest challenge young white cubs face. Often mistaken for albinos, white lions actually do have some pigmentation and dark eyes. They are leucistic animals, produced by the mating of two tawny lions who both carry a recessive gene for white coat color. Their ghostly white color is both a blessing and a curse, earning them a mythical status and a unique vulnerability.

As they hunt to provide for their cubs, Matimba and Khanya must also defend them from roving male lions who would kill the cubs in order to start new families of their own. Avoiding other lions’ territories, they stay on the move and in the shadows to stay safe. But they always leave signs behind; roving lions can smell their scent and follow them relentlessly, attacking again and again. Eventually, they will take their toll on the family when a tawny cub is injured and dies after a brutal attack in the night. The little pride is shaken by the profound blow, but moves on.

Together, the single mothers teach the cubs to hunt their prey and establish their domain, and to face down hyenas who would steal their kills. The family returns to their home territory when hunting proves difficult and hunger overtakes them. Back in familiar hunting grounds, they hunt zebra and giraffe, and the cubs learn how to climb trees to steal a kill from a leopard. The pride heads for a water hole frequented by buffalo and are rewarded by a perfect opportunity. The mothers spot a lame buffalo and teach the cubs exactly how to plan a successful attack on the injured animal. It is their first buffalo hunt.  

When they reach the age of two years old, the white cubs are almost fully grown. The pride moves to a new home range, rich in game, and settles in. Then, a new male lion comes calling. He is not one of the dangerous nomads, and, in any case, the cubs are too old now to be in danger. The new male is there to join the pride as their new leader, mate and protector. A new chapter begins for the pride. And the young white lionesses who have survived the perils of the wild now begin to depend on their own abilities, their own teamwork and their own wisdom to claim their place in the ongoing story of wild white lions in Kruger National Park.

Celebrating its 30th season, NATURE is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV.  For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local documentaries and other programs for the New York community.

NATURE is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET for PBS.  Fred Kaufman is executive producer. “THE WHITE LIONS was produce by Table Mountain Films, Obsessively Creative, and Terra Mater Factual Studios in co-production with THIRTTEN in association with the DTI South Africa.

Street Date: June 19, 2012
Genre: Documentary
Run Time: 60 Minutes
SRP: DVD, $19.99 and Blu-ray, $24.99
Format: DVD and Blu-ray

Watch The White Lions - Preview on PBS. See more from Nature.

My Thoughts:

Does your family find themselves flipping through the channels only to stop on nature/animal documentaries?  Well, we do.  It is amazing to not only learn about wild animals, but to see the close up footage that is captured of these beautiful animals in their natural habitats.  So, when I asked to review NATURE: THE WHITE LIONS, a PBS Distribution DVD, how could I say no.  This DVD came at a good time, as my parents were coming to visit for Father's Day, and we have a tradition to watch films while playing board games in the evening.  Usually, we watch films in which we have seen before, so not to have to stop game play and watch.  The movies act more like background noise, as we wait for others to make their moves.  But, as soon as I put this documentary on, everyone stopped game play and decided to watch this DVD instead.  The documentary follows two white coated tawny lions, from birth to adulthood (which at age 2, they are almost fully grown).  The footage captures breathtaking moments that show the bonding between these two sister cubs and their mother and aunt, as well as watching them learn to fend for themselves in the wild.  With their unique white coats, they don't blend in like other lions, so their need for protection and survival skills is key to surviving out in the wild.

Overall, this was a very fascinating movie, and one that we will definitely watch again.   I walked away knowing more about this unique breed of lions, and a greater appreciation for them.  In addition, the soundtrack to this film was amazing, and really added to the drama of the footage.


Click here to order a copy of this DVD and other NATURE documentaries, for your whole family to enjoy, for only $17.99.

Celebrating its 30th season, Nature is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET for PBS.  Fred Kaufman is executive producer.   Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry.  The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.  Nature has won more than 600 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities, and environmental organizations including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club.  In October 2010, the series won the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award, one of the wildlife film industry's highest honors. Major corporate support for Nature is provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc.  Additional support is provided by the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Susan Malloy and the Sun Hill Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the nation’s public television stations.  For more information, visit

About WNET
New York’s WNET is America’s flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersNeed to KnowCharlie Roseand a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the MathNoah Comprende and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTSReel 13NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.

About PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally.  Jointly owned by PBS (Arlington, VA) and WGBH (Boston, MA), PBS Distribution extends the reach of public television programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.  

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films (ProhibitionThe National ParksThe WarBaseballJazz), documentaries from award-winning series NOVA (The Elegant UniverseOrigins), FRONTLINE (God in AmericaBush’s WarGrowing Up Online), and American Experience (Freedom RidersWe Shall Remain), dramas from Masterpiece (Downton AbbeyJane EyreInspector Lewis), films from independent producers (Easy Yoga for ArthritisThe BuddhaThe Story of IndiaCarrierJourney into BuddhismI.O.U.S.A.), and popular children’s programming from Dinosaur TrainSuper Why!WordGirlCyberchaseMartha Speaks, and Arthur.  As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution pursues wholesale/retail sales, consumer and educational sales through PBS- branded catalogs and online shops, and international broadcast and video sales. PBS distribution is also a leader in offering programming through digital platforms including the internet, mobile, and web-connected television. 

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this DVD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. Sounds interesting I really enjoy watching animal shows. I won the DVD called Racoon Nation its a PBS DVD too. I really enjoyed watching it.