I finally watched “To the Arctic” during the Hari Raya Haji public holiday. Some friends were interested and off we went to the Omni-Theatre for the evening show. Right from the start, the 45-minute IMAX movie tugged at my heartstrings. The narrator told a tale of a pair of polar bears (mother and cub) that travelled a journey of 9 days’ by water in search of food. The cub didn’t survive.
“To the Arctic” is not just about the polar bears, although you might get this impression from the advertisement materials. It tells the stories of other Arctic animals, such as the walruses and the caribous, and the challenges they face in the changing Arctic wilderness they call home.
After watching the show, you will likely come out of the theatre with questions in your mind:- What is going to happen to the polar bears and the other Arctic animals in the future? Is there anything that you can do?
However, many children couldn’t suppress their curiosity and threw out questions during the show. “Why (must) she die?”, one asked when the show mentioned a female polar bear that was more willing to die in the place of her cubs when pursued by a hungry male polar bear. From the show, we learnt that the polar bears’ usual food source is seals, but they had become harder to find because the increasing amount of water caused by the melted ice had widened the distance between the land ice, and correspondingly the distance the polar bears need to travel to find food. When male polar bears cannot find seals, they turn to cubs to satisfy their hunger. It is an unfortunate outcome.
Anyway, back to the child who asked the question, his mother who was seated next to me tried to explain to him how the female would rather die defending her cub, and why the polar bears are in such predicament. The young child might or might not understand now, but he might grow up remembering the show or the polar bear story, and some messages (hopefully the right ones) would stay with him through the rest of his lives.
If you have already watched “To the Arctic”, what message did you take away from the show? If you are a parent, what message would you share with your children that you watch the show with?
The IMAX show “To the Arctic” is currently showing at the Omni-Theatre Singapore until 31 Jan 2013. For more information, please click here.