Arctic Tale 2007

Critics score:
61 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Though the journey is a little bumpy, it's still a trip well worth taking, for all ages. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Watching bear cubs and walrus pups struggling to survive against increasingly tough odds, and on ever-slushier ice shelves, has both its shamelessly manipulative side and its dramatically necessary side, as handled here. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Watching these endangered species evolve new approaches to hunting and shelter is fascinating, but the movie is seriously marred by a cloying screenplay and such kid-pleasing touches as shots of walruses belching and farting. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: Makes the mistake of anthropomorphizing its subjects and substitutes pallid whimsy for reportage. Read more

Justin Berton, San Francisco Chronicle: Despite the storytelling faults, Ravetch and Robertson offer remarkable footage from the evaporating Arctic. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: ...husband-and-wife directing team Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson , who shot much of the footage over more than a decade in the Arctic, are aiming for a playful, casual, child-friendly tone... Read more

Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic: The best thing about Arctic Tale is the vivid underwater cinematography, shot with such urgency and vibrancy that one might suspect a little CGI assistance has been employed. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The babies are adorable, the soundtrack choices ('We Are Family') obvious, the biological diversity awe-inspiring. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: The live-action animal drama Arctic Tale arrives in an impressive visual package and even boasts a timely message, but its undistinguished storytelling is a big letdown. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Despite the film's undeniable technical achievements, it's hard to walk out of the theater without sensing that you've witnessed a bit of a cheat. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It's aimed at kids, and it hits them squarely: My 6-year-old and his friend sat stock still, hypnotized. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The best reason to see this documentary is for the stunning shots of polar bears and walruses in the Arctic Circle. If the filmmakers had just left it at that, they would have accomplished a lot. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: There's no Jane Goodall required. And the absence of humans proves we needn't be onscreen to make our presence known. Read more

Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly: It's a respectable attempt to get kids who like cuddly animals thinking about death and destruction on a global scale. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Arctic Tale does afford us some beautiful landscape cinematography and up-close looks at creatures in the wild... Read more

Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail: Nevertheless, Arctic Tale is a kid-friendly, non-preachy window on the north as a place of wonder and a harbinger of change -- and I'll take Queen Latifah's warm voice over Al Gore's drone any day. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: [A] stunningly photographed documentary about a year in the endangered life of an Arctic ice floe. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: Arctic Tale is yet another wildlife orgy of ooh-ing and aah-ing designed to expose young ones to the lifestyles of the furry and the fabulous. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: I'm no holdout about the reality of global warming, but fictionalizing and anthropomorphizing animal adventures to make the point and then calling it a documentary puts these filmmakers in a league with pre-Sicko Michael Moore. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: But the script, narrated by Queen Latifah, is so embarrassingly dorky (it was co-written by Kristin Gore) that it's like Fred Rogers gone hip-hop. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: See this in a cool theater on a hot summer day. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Despite its sad scenes, it sentimentalizes. It attributes human emotions and motivations to its central animals. Its music instructs us how to feel. And the narration and overall approach get in the way of the visual material. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Whether you're more attuned to adorable animals or environmental issues, Arctic Tale is pretty cool. Read more

Susan Walker, Toronto Star: The point is made: life, as the wondrous animals of our very far north know it, is severely endangered. And that can only spell disaster for the inhabitants of lands farther south. Read more

Stephen Garrett, Time Out: This anthropomorphic Disneyfication -- presumably intended to give youngsters something to relate to -- is made worse by the film's elementary dialogue and Queen Latifah's crass 'n' brash delivery. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Whatever problems some might have with its execution, it's hard to argue against a film whose intent is to kindle youthful compassion for living things and inspire action to protect Earth and its creatures. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Arctic is as charming as it is instructive. Read more