Cast: Dana (Danaus Plexippus), Patricia Phillips, Stephanie Sigman, Gordon Pinsent (Fred A. Urquardt, PhD), Megan Elizabeth Follows (narrator).
MPAA Rating: G
Opens: 9/27/13 (at the California Science Center IMAX Theater and will be there for six months).
Plot: “I gazed in amazement at the sight, butterflies — millions upon millions of monarch butterflies,” says Fred A. Urquardt, PhD, who as a boy first became obsessed with the Monarch, a currently endangered member of a species that depends upon native milkweeds to survive. The milkweed has been depleted by chemical fertilizers and bug sprays. This is a natural history epic and a detective story. Join hundreds of millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway, and one scientist’s 40-year search to unravel the mystery — where do they go each fall?
The film is all the more compelling as it is shot with breathtaking cinematography from an award-winning team including Oscar winner Peter Parks (“Tree of Life”). A true marvel of nature weighing less than a penny, the Monarch makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a place it has never known. Follow the Monarchs’ perilous journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico.
Parenting Points: With the plight of these delicate, amazing creatures in the news lately, this film is the occasion for real teaching on the fragility of nature and its interdependence with the ecology. Kids can actually look inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans and be captivated by the emotional and compelling true story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find their secret hideaway. Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the film interweaves spellbinding natural history with an uplifting human story.