Africa: The Serengeti

Rated 4.0 George Casey’s 1994 IMAX edu-venture documents the seasonal 500-mile migration of the enormous wildebeest herds on the plains of Tanzania and Kenya. The gorgeous photography includes use of a fish-eye lens and time-lapse effects as the predatory and reproductive elements of the region are captured without feeling voyeuristic. Most of the material has been covered on PBS and cable TV’s nature channels, but the IMAX format gives it a compelling freshness and urgency as narrator James Earl Jones (the voice of Mufasa in The Lion King) talks of the area’s cycles of birth and death. One highlight: a cheetah’s pursuit of an antelope in which the camera feels mounted on the hunter’s back.