Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  47 minutes
Date:  1997
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 6-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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The Monarch

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The latest findings on the life cycle and migration of the familiar, yet mysterious, butterfly.

The Monarch

The monarch butterfly is at once the most familiar and the most mysterious butterfly in the world. It amazes us for what we know about its life and it tantalizes us for the secrets it still holds within its delicate frame - secrets that scientists and lay people in North America have been trying to unravel for decades.

We know that monarchs east of the Rockies travel thousands of miles every winter to specific sites in Mexico, while those west of the Rockies migrate to sites in California. How they find their way to sites they have never seen before remains a puzzle.

Today monarchs face environmental threats at both ends of their migratory route. This beautiful documentary looks at what we now know but more importantly it reveals what we still do not know about this amazing creature.

'An incredible visual treat...It would make a great addition to any monarch enthusiast's collection.' Monarch News

'Butterflies are the charismatic megafauna of the insect world. They have the capacity to charm us out of our squeamishness long enough to notice the beauty and the fragility of this other order...The migration of the monarchs is a spectacle that most of us will never personally witness, but this film brings us close enough to care. That's the power of this well-filmed hour.' Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry

'Does an excellent job of describing what we do know about the Monarch and presents a balanced account of the challenges faced by this species...I recommend this film very highly. It would be an excellent addition to any school or public library.' Barb Butler, University of Oregon, MC Journal

'This video, superbly done, tells it all in a way that fans the flames of interest and wonder over this marvelous migratory insect, and its plight and the implications of that plight for man.' The Toledo Blade


Best Independent Program, International Wildlife Film Festival
Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network Competition
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
OWAA Showcase, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
SciFest, Vancouver
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival


Main credits

Springbett, David (Producer)
MacAndrew, Heather (Producer)
MacAndrew, Heather (Screenwriter)
Simpson, Michael (Director)
Simpson, Michael (Screenwriter)

Other credits

Photography, Michael Simpson, Peter Walker; original score, Patrick Godfrey; editor, James H. Elderton.

Distributor credits

Asterisk Productions

Asterisk Productions
Michael Simpson

Docuseek2 subjects

Animal Behavior
Bioregions and Habitat
Environmental Education
Habitat Destruction

Distributor subjects

Animal Behavior/Communication
Canadian Studies
Endangered Species
Life Science
Science Methods


migration, monarch butterfly, North America, Mexico, environment, pollution; "The Monarch"; Bullfrog Films

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