Last week, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science announced a five-year exclusive partnership with National Geographic that includes special access to National Geographic’s extensive film library, movie premieres and a speaker series.
The museum’s state-of-the art 3D theater will now be called “The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience.” It’s the only museum in Texas and one of just a handful in the nation with this partnership.
“Not only will this partnership allow us to bring our films to Dallas, but the Perot Museum’s support will assist in our ongoing efforts to create engaging films for audiences here and around the world,” said Mark Katz, president of distribution for National Geographic Cinema Ventures, at the museum’s announcement of the partnership on May 23.
What will this mean for museum visitors? A lot of quality programming.
The museum will be the exclusive local host of the Nat Geo Live speakers series, where some of the biggest names in science will share their discoveries and adventures. Speakers on the current circuit include award-winning photographers such as National Geogrphic’s Steve Winter; acclaimed explorers such as veteran climbers Mike Libecki and Cory Richards; and filmmakers such as Pete McBride (Chasing Water).
In coming years, National Geographic photographers will be invited to share their images and lead photography workshops at the museum for children and adults.
Plus, the museum will get access to National Geographic’s entire inventory of long and short 2D and 3D films and will be able to host local premieres and runs of all new National Geographic releases.
Museum visitors can already get a taste of what Nat Geo has to offer with the inclusion of Pandas: The Journey Home 3D to the theaters’ summer film line-up.
Here are my mini-reviews of the films:
Pandas: The Journey Home
Length: 40 minutes
Suitable for: All audiences. There are some mating scenes and birthing scenes that may “gross out” younger viewers.
Summary: As Katz said during the screening of this film, “Nothing is cuter than a baby panda.” Filmmakers gained unprecedented access to the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China where fewer than 1,600 pandas live. The film follows groundbreaking scientists trying to increase the endangered creature’s population through captive breeding in hopes of re-introducing pandas to their natural habitat.
What kids will like: While the storyline isn’t as fluid (or funny) as Disney’s recent Bears doc, there are plenty of sweet, cuddly moments to watch.
What adults will like: The adults, and kids, seemed to get a kick out of watching grown men don panda suits as part of the acclimation of the bears into the wild. While the film was informative and enjoyable, it didn’t need to be in 3D.
Flight of the Butterflies 3D
Length: 22 minutes
Suitable for: All audiences
Summary: The film follows the path of three generations of Monarch butterflies on one of the most incredible migrations on Earth. The filmmakers filmed hundreds of millions of monarchs in their remote sanctuaries in Mexico and followed their progress across the United States to Canada and into Mexico.
What kids will like: From the moment the film begins, the 3D experience is wondrous. You actually feel like you are surrounded by butterflies.
What adults will like: The movie begins in the Texas Hill Country where fimmakers captured astonishing colors from bluebonnets, milkweed and Indian paintbrush.
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia
Length: 21 minutes
Summary: The film takes audiences back in time when dinosaurs roamed and we learn about the giant creatures by following Dr. Rodolfo Coria, a world-renowned Argentinean paleontologist, as he visits sites of major discoveries.
What kids will like: The animation in this film is fantastic and children will love learning about the plant-eating Argentinosaur and its nemesis the carniverous Giganotosaur.
What adults will like: The film is deeply rooted in science and there’s a lot of information for the young ones to absorb but the brilliance of the movie is that it doesn’t feel like a science class.
Suitable for: All audiences. There’s mild fights between dinosaurs.