FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES (Mike Slee). See listings. Rating: NNNN
Breathtaking photography is to be expected from a nature film playing on the Ontario Science Centre's all-encompassing IMAX Dome screen. The surprise here is the breathless economy of the storytelling.
In a mere 44 minutes, Flight Of The Butterflies unravels two dense plots. The first concerns the year-long migratory cycle of monarch butterflies between Canada and Mexico, which takes three generations, the third of which is a superhero variation of the monarch equipped to undertake the longest trek on its exquisite wings.
Woven into the monarch's travels is the nearly 40-year story of Canadian zoologist Fred Urquhart (Gordon Pinsent), who along with his wife and recruits across North America tagged monarchs and tracked the migration. Some hammy acting mars this dramatized portion, but it doesn't matter given how brisk and to-the-point it all is.
The filmmakers turn classroom material into a dense procedural. Meanwhile, they capture phenomenal footage of the monarch in its various stages, from egg to chrysalis to the butterfly that hates winter as much as I do.
The final destination is a spectacular sight that might just encourage you to book your next vacation. Though that journey will take a lot longer.
Now showing at the Ontario Science Centre Omnimax Theatre. See listings.