The Magical Forest

The Magical Forest

2012, Nature  -   32 Comments
Ratings: 8.53/10 from 297 users.

The ecosystem is a beautifully complex collection of life forms working in harmony. The intricacies of these connections are explored in The Magical Forest, a riveting episode from the BBC's nature series Secrets of our Living Planet.

The filmmakers embed themselves in one of the most glorious natural environments in the world: the sprawling seasonal forests of North America. Here, plant and animal life share a stunning give-and-take relationship. The most profound examples of this can be found during the autumn as the cold moves in, insect life burrows deep into the ground, and the trees begin to shed their leaves.

Nature depends on a series of surprising relationships in order to thrive during even the harshest of conditions. The film provides a remarkable glimpse into these relationships by showing how they set the stage for the oncoming brutality of winter temperatures, and lay the groundwork for a rebirth in the spring and summer.

The process begins with a population of flying squirrels and the truffles they gnaw upon as winter approaches. Upon being eaten, these truffles release nutrient-rich spores into the soil and allow thousand-year-old trees to grow as the seasons change. The film then turns to the forest's flowing waters, and the tens of millions of salmon who spawn there. These salmon serve as the main food supply for bears and cubs, and provide them with reserves of sustenance during their period of hibernation. As the carcasses of these salmon decompose, they also offer a feast of nutrients for starving soil.

The symbiosis continues as the winter season clutches its icy grip upon the region. This is the period of time when hundreds of Canadian lynx emerge in search of well-camouflaged snowshoe rabbits. As the season winds down, the fates of both predator and prey are largely dependent upon the actions of tiny bug worms who exist on burgeoning tree leaves.

The images that occupy The Magical Forest are awe-inspiring not only for their dazzling beauty, but for the unexpected connections they capture. Nature lovers in particular will relish this rare and informative look inside the inner workings of a living forest.

Directed by: Gavin Maxwell

More great documentaries

32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Glizzy Gobblerr

    Who feels like givin me some interactions

  2. Connor

    You guys are nerds

  3. julianna

    what are 10 interactions?

  4. RaraAvis


  5. green bird

    The majority of lifelong English speakers can't pronounce "th" - "that" is pronounced "dat" or "zat", "breath" becomes "bread", "earth" becomes "erff", "truth" becomes "trut" or "troof". The same is true of the r sound - it just comes out different - it's a speech mannerism, not speech impediment.

  6. Paul R

    Oh my lord - "It doesn't get any better than this!" when a squirrel flies into his sternum.
    Can't stop laughing...

  7. Paul R

    I'm not overly fond of the narrator's voice. Might just be me. The rest of it is great.

  8. David

    Sense of humor: "Flying Squiwwels, fowest floow"! Anyway, the doc is excellent. I don't see evolution in this (thankfully they didn't drive that point), but I do see the hand of God the designer. To me, the intricacy of interactions in the ecosystem, just like the "fearful" complexity of our physical bodies, is increasingly showing us design.

    1. mclpcw

      get serious.....

    2. Krover

      Look at this guy... Some of the comments in this site are truly depressing.

  9. Golfinho

    Flying Squiwwels, it doesn’t come any better than that!

  10. Irene

    I was so mindblown by it, I didn't notice the music, his accent, his shoes etc.. what ever else you people are whining about

  11. Bubba

    A thoroughly entertaining story about the wonders of nature. Absolutely beautiful photography accompanied by an interesting and educational narration. If you appreciate learning about natural phenomena, you will enjoy this film.

  12. Sohan

    Wonderfully pictured and described. Inspires me to be more with nature. Thanks for this.

  13. Fowest Gump

    Fowest full of twees

  14. Willy

    I agwee with the comments about the stwange pwonouciation of the awwwws in the nawwation.

  15. cristian

    I Believe the net of fungus does more than transferring nutrients they exchange information via chemicals they do now all the plants around the;s like they have a society there 2016 they did experiments and tested that via this fungus and who knows what else they do communicate so they can know how the nature around will affect them and to take measures it is a living breathing Planet

  16. Keir

    I'm sorry the documentary started looking pretty, but I can't listen to him say fowest for 60 mins. Time to find another nature doc

  17. Oscar

    Fowest fowest fowest, why become a narrator when you have a speech impediment :) Ruined it for me.

  18. Phil Dubuque

    A beautifully filmed documentary with an excellent narration. I would recommend it to anyone who loves nature documentaries. One of the best I've seen!

  19. Misty

    Great documentary. What an intricate Eco system. It is so amazing to see how perfectly it is orchestrated. It clearly shows the truth of what God says in that he is revealed for all to see through nature.

  20. Elle

    Huh, the narrator talks a little like Elmer Fudd... It was chuckle worthy.

  21. Teresa Smith

    What's with the Special K advertisement every couple of minutes. Totally distracting and made me quit watching. Well, that must be why it is free. Too bad, though.

  22. binaya

    it must be a musical documentary rather than natural...back ground sounds irritating..

  23. BillyGackins

    Narrated by Homestar Runner.

  24. AntiTheist666

    Why does a Tree need a Fish? Does a Bear sh1t in the woods?
    These questions and more are answered in this simply fantastic doc! If you like down to Earth nature docs that show the wonderful symbiotic nature of the ecosystem, then this is for you. Presented by the excellent Chris Packham whose enthusiasm and love of nature is joyously infectious, Flying Squirrels seem to like him to.

    Packed with loads of close up, slow - mo action, all in glorious HD, some of the scenes are cinematically brilliant and capture the whole cycle of this Magical Forest. The scientific data revealed at the end was so surprising but I won’t spoil it for anyone, just watch it, it’s fantastic.

    1. bringmeredwine

      Your post was right on the money.
      This was delightful!

    2. arcturus

      It was a wonderful video, but I am wondering why we needed to be assaulted near the end with that horrid "music."

    3. AntiTheist666

      Yeah that was weird, I don’t know what they were thinking, it’s so out of place. Still a great doc though.

    4. Kevin Rolstad

      That last piece of music is a mistake in the audio. It was unintentional. Probably when dubbed for this site? Probably some intern left an itune channel bleed through....
      Otherwise, like every BBC program made, the music was outstanding as was the doc itself.

    5. bob

      Funny how I am not the only one to ask myself, "Why the hell do I have to listen to supid music at the end of something so intelligent?"

    6. Natalie Tibbs

      Great doc but the music spoil the credits.