The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos

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The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
The film poster
Directed byMatthew Aeberhard
Leander Ward
Produced byMatthew Aeberhard
Leander Ward
Paul Webster (executive producer)
Stephen Garrett (executive producer)
Written byMelanie Finn
Narrated byMariella Frostrup (UK/US)
Zabou Breitman (France)
Music byThe Cinematic Orchestra and Claseria
Natural Light Films
Kudos Pictures
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States

The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos is a 2008 British-American nature documentary that explores the massive gathering of lesser flamingos in Tanzania. It was the very first movie released under the then-new Disneynature label. It premiered in France on October 26, 2008, with narration by Zabou Breitman, and was released theatrically in the UK in September 2009 and direct-to-video in the United States in 2010 with narration by Mariella Frostrup.


The film documents the lives of lesser flamingos on the isolated shores of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, revealing the breeding and parenting habits of the species. After mating, the flamingos breed chicks that grow up, always on the move trying to enjoy their lives. Along their journeys, they encounter vicious marabou storks who kill many unborn and newly born chicks and a villainous spotted hyena who takes no pity on the elderly flamingos.

As the film progresses, it focuses on the life of one of the chicks that at birth is separated from her mother and the flamingo clan when the storks attack. On her own, she successfully dodges the storks and rejoins the clan of flamingos where she grows up. With no mother or father to look up to, the mid-sized flamingo has to teach itself the key habits of the species. She successfully grows up to become a large, pink feathered flamingo and survives when the clan is attacked by the Hyena. Her story is focused on to show the strength and determination for life the flamingos have.


At the launch of the Disneynature studio in April 2008, it was announced that the first new production from the new studio would be "The Crimson Wing", which would begin international release throughout 2009.[1] However, the first film to be released by Disneynature was the US market release of the BBC Worldwide and Greenlight Media film "Earth" on Earth Day 2009, making "The Crimson Wing" the second film to be released by Disneynature.

The world premiere of "The Crimson Wing" took place on 26 October 2008 at the closing ceremony of the CinémaScience Festival in Bordeaux, France. Starting on 25 September 2009, "The Crimson Wing" was released for a limited run in the United Kingdom exclusively through Cineworld cinemas.

In Italy the movie was released in TV on SKY Cinema on 3 April 2010 with the title "Il mistero dei fenicotteri rosa". "The Crimson Wing" was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on 15 March 2010 and in France on 24 March 2010. It premiered on DTV in the US on 19 October 2010.[2][3]


The soundtrack to the film was composed and performed by the British jazz-electronic group The Cinematic Orchestra.[4] The soundtrack was produced by The Cinematic Orchestra and Steve McLaughlin. Teese Gohl orchestrated the score, which was performed at Air Lyndhurst by The Cinematic Orchestra and the London Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Andy Brown. The music was mixed by McLaughlin and The Cinematic Orchestra at British Grove Studios and Northpole Studio.

On 17 September 2009 the composition was performed live by The Cinematic Orchestra with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at Union Chapel, Islington in London. In the same year it won the award for best original score at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Wyoming, USA on 1 October.[citation needed]

The original recordings of "Arrival Of The Birds" and "Transformation" from the Crimson Wing soundtrack were used in the last scene of the film The Theory Of Everything and in the short film Together Apart from the Cornetto Cupidity Series. In December 2012, the song "Arrival of the Birds" appeared in a commercial for the women's perfume Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani.


Critical reception[edit]

As of 5 July 2013, Rotten Tomatoes reports that 82% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 17 reviews.[5]


The film, which has participated at numerous festivals and awards, has had two nominations and won one.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Best of Festival: Best Music Score The Cinematic Orchestra Won
International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA) 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
IFMCA Award Best Original Score for a Documentary Film The Cinematic Orchestra Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Disney Launches New Film Label - Disneynature" (PDF). Disneynature website. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  2. ^ The Crimson Wing: Mystery of Flamingos - on Amazon UK
  3. ^ Les Ailes pourpres: Le Mystère des flamants - on Amazon France
  4. ^ Soundtrack information available on
  5. ^ The Crimson Wing at Rotten Tomatoes

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]