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Travelling birds (Winged migration; Le peuple migrateur)

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

An adventure in flight.

Travelling birds is the latest breathtaking documentary from the production team that created both Microcosmos and Himalaya. Encompassing three years of shooting on 35 mm, Travelling birds looks at the magical and somewhat mysterious world of bird-life migration. These birds accomplish journeys of several thousand kilometres, beset with dangers, across the highest mountains, boundless oceans and burning deserts, all with the aim of survival. Little chicks have to quickly learn to fly and prepare themselves for their supreme test - their first migration.

The cast list includes: Puffins in Iceland, Cranes in Japan, Geese across New York City, Turtle Doves in Mali, Ibis in Vietnam, Bald Eagles in Alaska and the Grand Canyon, Penguins in Antarctica, Macaws in the Amazon in Peru, Flamingos in Kenya, Andean Condors in Argentina and Chile, Swans in the Camargue, France, to the humble pigeons in the Pyrenees.

With every bird species requiring a different way of filming - the circular flight of storks shot from a balloon, pelicans from boats, geese from uniquely adapted aircraft - and the beauty of the changing seasons across the continents, Travelling birds is the extraordinary odyssey of those that inhabit our skies.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Travelling birds theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film documentary nature birds mitration

Persons of interest

  • Valentine Perrin .... Creator
  • Stéphane Durand .... Screenwriter
  • Francis Roux .... Screenwriter
  • Jacques Perrin .... Screenwriter
  • Jacques Cluzaud .... Director
  • Michel Debats .... Director
  • Jacques Perrin .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Well, to be blunt, I was underwhelmed. I've seen a lot of nature documentaries in my time and Travelling birds did little to increase my knowledge of avian migratory habits. In fact, I learned nothing, which is not to say that there is nothing to learn but the scope of the film is so large that the information it contains is pretty vague, like "The Snow Goose flies 1000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle". There's nothing about the places they live, what they eat, how they mate, chick-rearing, predators, etc., etc. This is just a film about birds flying north and south. Sometimes they land, sometimes they take off but mostly they fly. And fly. And fly.

In fact, it's kind of boring. Sure, the pictures are mostly very pretty but for how long can you watch birds flapping their wings? One and a half hours? No.

Another annoying factor is that the titles are written in USA English rather than real English, thus Autumn becomes Fall and all the measurements are in Imperial; I have no idea how long a mile is let alone 6000 of them. It would've been better in proper English, especially since most of the world speaks proper English. Perhaps now is the time to make a law that films and books are translated on importation in order to protect Australian English from the cultural imperialism of the USA. I have noticed that many young Australians are using Americanisms in their speech and their accents are bending toward the North American. Someone should do something about it.


NB: Because of the length of the film and the lack of "action" children will become restless and start kicking and squirming.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby AC-3
  • Disc: Single side, dual layer
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Special features:
    • Galleries: Behind-the-scenes stills
    • Production notes

Security censorship classification


Surveillance time

89 minutes (1:29 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 19 June 2003
DVD rental: 19 November 2003
VHS rental: 19 November 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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