Pelican Dreams

Main Plot Points:
  • What’s it like to try to get to know a flying dinosaur? This documentary follows a wayward California brown pelican from her “arrest” on the Golden Gate Bridge into care at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and from there explores pelicans’ nesting grounds, Pacific coast migration, and survival challenges.
  • The film is about wildness: how close can we get to a wild animal without taming or harming it? Why do we need wildness in our lives, and how can we protect it? Pelican Dreams, stars “Gigi” (for Golden Gate) and Morro (a backyard pelican with an injured wing).

What We Thought:

  • “What are you watching?” “Oh, just a documentary about a pelican.” “You must be writing for that DVD website again…”
  • This was the conversation I had with my wife as I started watching Pelican Dreams, which sounds like the worst name for an Eagles cover band I’ve ever heard.
  • In all seriousness, there are some interesting tidbits here about the development process by which pelicans go through from birth through thriving as an adult pelican.
  • Some reviews I’ve read about this documentary praise director Judy Irving’s narration, but let me just say that although I feel she did a serviceable giving the viewer a sense of what’s going on on-screen, she’s clearly no Morgan Freeman (a la March of the Penguins).
  • The documentary starts out with a brown pelican being captured on the Golden Gate Bridge after inexplicably finding its way there. It’s discovered after an animal rehabilitation specialist that the pelican, “Gigi” as she was called, was underfed, and dehydrated.
  • Pelican Dreams follows the story of Gigi’s rehabilitation process from being rescued off the bridge all the way to the point of being released back into the wild after gaining weight and getting taken care for a few months. The doc also gives a good overview of the life of a pelican.
  • The only issue, is that this is only mildly interesting, at least it’s only that to me.
  • If you like wildlife documentaries that aren’t on a grand scale like Planet Earth, you’ll probably like Pelican Dreams.

Special Features:

  • Mini-movies
  • More from the Channel Islands
  • Various additional scenes

Notable Cast & Crew:

  • No one notable

Recommended if You Like:

  • Wildlife Documentaries

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