Flight of the Butterflies review

Directed and co-written by Mike Slee, the 2012 Canadian blockbuster documentary film ‘Flight of the butterflies’ has made its way into the Omni-Theatre. The question of where the monarch butterflies head to for winter during their southward migration has been one of the greatest mysteries of natural history. However the unrelenting determination of Dr Fred Urquhart and his wife, Norah, to solve this mystery has finally paid off after a 40-year long scientific investigation. This four decade long investigation has been translated into a spectacular 40-minute long film. The film follows Dr Fred Urquhart’s investigation into the tiresome migration the monarch butterflies embark on each year which requires 3 to 4 generations to complete.


A stunning visual masterpiece, the massive Omni-Theatre immerses its audience into the beautiful world of the monarch butterflies. The film is at heart, an adventurous scientific detective story. The first-rate cinematography coupled with advanced technology and special effects allow the viewer to feel like they are truly surrounded by beautiful awe inspiring natural sights which provide a nice respite from the dull urban landscapes of Singapore.

The film maintains a fine balance between entertainment and education so viewers do not need to worry about the film being boring. The mystery of where the butterflies disappear to is engaging enough for both adults and children and the brightly lit sets and cheerful vibe of the film ensures that ‘dull’ would be the last word someone would use to describe this film.

The story is also highly engaging and it is difficult to not feel emotionally invested in Dr Urquhart and his wife’s quest to solve the mystery of the butterfly migration. The discovery of the butterflies’ secret hideout provide a fitting climax to this epic film and audience members will probably elicit audible gasps of awe when they are greeted with the phenomenal sight of the butterflies’ winter nesting grounds.

While ‘Flight of the Butterflies’ does contain a few ‘Save Mother Nature’ messages which seem to have become mandatory for every documentary, the movie doesn’t overdo it. In this aspect, the filmmakers deserve to be commended for avoiding the pitfalls of most documentaries which usually become overly preachy and pessimistic over how humans are destroying the Earth.

Highly recommended

A film highly suitable for the whole family, this educational film is entertaining enough to engage people of all age groups. The short duration of the film caters to the short attention span of most children while the narrative is simple enough for kids to comprehend. Children will also probably love the brightly lit and colourful settings of the documentary.

Adults too would likely welcome the experience of being immersed in the beautifully scenic world of nature. The movie also has the uncanny ability to tug at your heartstrings and get you to root for Fred and Norah Urquhart’s quest to solve the long standing mystery of the monarch butterfly migration. The sight of the affable old couple crying at finally accomplishing their lifelong mission is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. Regardless of your age, everyone will also likely learn a thing or two from this film which manages to deliver information in a captivating manner. Highly recommended for the whole family, this fantastic IMAX masterpiece will provide a visual feast for the eyes as well as an enjoyable 40-minute long experience with your loved ones.

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About Sean Foo
Sean Foo is an editorial intern with Kidlander.com. He enjoys writing about the sights and sounds of Singapore.