BBC Unveils ‘Frozen Planet’19 Jan, 2012 By: Billy Gil
BBC Home Entertainment will release the third entry of BBC’s popular “Planet Earth” franchise with Frozen Planet, out on DVD and Blu-ray April 17 (order date March 3), just in time for Earth Day April 22.
The co-production between BBC and Discovery Channel sees its North American premiere March 18. The seven-part miniseries will air on American television with narration from Alec Baldwin, though the home video version features the original British narration by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who narrated the original Planet Earth.
Frozen Planet takes viewers to the planet’s polar regions, promising the series’ trademark unprecedented footage, such as views from beneath polar seas, within erupting volcanoes and footage of such wildlife as polar bears, penguins, wolves and orca whales. The three-disc sets (DVD $39.98, BD $54.98) will include the bonus features “Science at the Ends of the Earth,” an exploration of the scientific work being performed at the South Pole; “Freeze Frame,” consisting of six 10-minute making-of featurettes, one per episode; “Production Video Diaries,” including 47 video shorts made by “Frozen Planet’s” team of producers, directors and camera crew; and “Frozen Planet: The Epic Journey,” an hour-long highlight reel that was shown in the United Kingdom, where the series premiered over the holidays, as a Christmas special.
Additionally, BBC and Discovery are teaming with high-end nature travel company Tauck for “The Ultimate Polar Bear Adventure,” in which two pairs of winners (one in the United States and one in Canada) will receive roundtrip airfare to Manitoba, Canada, and two excursions into polar bear country, in addition to a private evening with the Hudson’s Bay Company of Adventurers at the Manitoba Museum, a storytelling session with a local First Nation resident, a dog-sledding demonstration and more.
Soumya Sriraman, BBC’s new EVP of home entertainment and licensing, says the sales of Planet Earth — an estimated more than 5.5 million units sold of DVD and Blu-ray combined — means Frozen Planet is being treated as a tentpole release.
“Planet Earth came out as Blu-ray was emerging and was the perfect Blu-ray for people’s new HD sets,” she said. “People want content that is meaningful, and I think our programming hits that need.”
Planet Earth debuted in 2007, followed by Life in 2010.
In addition to providing stunning views of nature, the series is informative and family-friendly, she added.
“We’ve had really good retail feedback,” Sriraman said. “It was a phenomenon that just kept building on itself.”
In addition to the sweepstakes, BBC will roll out more special marketing efforts as the release date approaches.