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Disney Nature's New Movie "Pollen" premieres in France

On March 16th, the long-awaited Schwartzberg movie “Pollen” on pollinators around the world will be shown in cinemas across France. Soon after, this Disneynature production will go to screens in other European countries. We have no information on when this amazing movie will be shown in US theaters. Another Disneynature film, “Big Cats” will debut in US cinemas on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. When the pollinator movie does come to US cinemas it will be under the name “Wings of Life.”  Disneynature is a Paris-based division of the Walt Disney Company that has several nature-related movies in production around the world at any time. It follows in the footsteps of theme park founder Walt Disney and his 13 nature documentaries produced from 1948 to 1960  called  Walt Disney’s “True-Life Adventures” series.

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The films became educational tools in public school and aired on television for many years. We think Walt would approve of the new camera work and exciting stories, in this case about the world's pollinators and flowering plants. On April 22, 2009, Disney released the first Disneynature film "Earth" which was followed the next year by "Oceans" which will be followed on Earth Day, 2011 by Disneynature's movie "African Cats" showing in US cinemas. Beginning in early 2008, the Pollinator Partnership's founder, Paul Growald, began presenting ideas to producer/director Louis Schwartzberg of Black Light films in Los Angeles ( about a pollinator movie. Ideas for such a movie had been bantered back and forth at earlier NAPPC conferences by steering committee members and advisors. Soon after, Dr. Stephen Buchmann, P2's international coordinator was brought into the project by Growald and selected as chief scientist and film advisor for the project by Schwartzberg. Buchmann has a two decade history of working with Oxford Scientific Films, BBC Natural History Unit, National Geographic and many indie nature documentary film makers. He enjoys wrangling insects and plants in the field and on the set. The main cinematographer, and Director of Photography, for the movie, originally titled "Hidden Beauty," is Tucsonan Mr. Keith Brust. Keith has won two Emmy's for his cinematography and worked alongside the best, including Sir David Attenborough where he worked on desert scenes as part of the award-winning and viewer-acclaimed BBC series Planet Earth. Buchmann recognized the need for expertise from other scientists and NAPPC partners. He introduced Dr. Chip Taylor (NAPPC steering committee member and founder of Monarch Watch) along with Dr. Ted Fleming (bat biologist formerly with the University of Miami) to director Schwartzberg and they were involved getting monarch and bat sequences in the US and Mexico during the filming. Pollinators in the film include familiar honey bees, the migrating monarch and nectar bats along with less familiar bumble bees, and exotic butterflies and hummingbirds from tropical forests. A 16 to 20 person Disneynature crew followed the bloom and visited sites around the world to capture exciting dramas of pollinators and plants at familiar and more exotic locations around the world. Filming for "Pollen/Wings of Life" took place in Arizona, California, Sonora and the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico and Panama as a few of the sites the Disneynature pollinator crew visited to get their spectacular footage of pollinators and their plants. Cinematographers Brust and Schwartzberg worked with custom "pinhole" macro lenses to achieve unique bee POV shots. They also used a Phantom brand digital cine camera to slow the action of butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and bats in flight to reveal the beauty and aerodynamics of these colorful pollinators. Filming was completed in late 2009 and by early 2010 editing, composition of original musical scores and celebrity narration were well on their way. Movie viewers will be treated to the masterful narration delivered by actress Meryl Streep. Stay tuned to the Pollinator Partnership website for future updates about when the movie "Wings of Life" will be coming to a theater near you.

Watch this video
of children talking about what they thought of the movie.