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Metamorphosis Review by Kate Kessler

Flight: The Genius of Birds
Illustra Media

I am rarely entirely blown away by the products I receive to review. I am just being honest because after 13 years of running a review department, it takes a lot to do that. These two movies, Metamorphosis and Flight: The Genius of Birds, sent to us from, and created also sold by Illustra Media, have done exactly that. These are top-quality gorgeous science DVDs full of the astonishing life and ability of butterflies and birds. Right out of the gate—buy them! If you want to know why I say this, read on!

Flight: The Genius of Birds

This is a brilliantly filmed beautiful DVD that showcases a bird's anatomical structure, the glory of flight, the unusual skeletal make-up, reproduction, and much more. I especially loved the focus on the special muscle, bone, and feeding abilities in hummingbirds. There is an extended section that animates the muscle and bone structure of the hummingbird to demonstrate how it can hover in the air as well as how it feeds itself. Its tongue is one of the most astonishing things I have ever learned about! No other bird does the things a hummingbird does!

There is much more to this 63 minute DVD, but I wanted to focus a little more on the second DVD I received.


I figured by the title that I'd see the lifecycle of a butterfly, but little did I know just how truly amazing and mind-bending the whole process really is! From a very young age, you learn that butterflies lay eggs, which turn into caterpillars that eat a lot, form a chrysalis, and burst forth as a butterfly. Even the youngest children "get" this, but do we really "get" what goes on?

This DVD will Blow. Your. Mind.

What is going on cannot be explained by any scientific method whatsoever. It is so completely transformative that evolution has absolutely no explanation for it. What happens in the chrysalis simply could not have developed by evolution.

Some of the things we learned from this DVD as a family:

  • Butterflies know which plants to lay their eggs on—no parent butterfly shows them. They determine this by a very specific complex internal process.
  • When caterpillars emerge from their tiny eggs, they are little eating machines. Their digestive track is as long as their bodies and they eat their own weight in leaves every day. In the short time they are caterpillars, what they eat multiplies their birth weight by 3,000 times. That's crazy!
  • The process of forming into a chrysalis is seriously complex and the entire structure of the caterpillar breaks down and rebuilds itself into the butterflies we see. There is a particularly compelling MRI scan of a Monarch chrysalis as it changes that we get to see. The whole structure of the Monarch reforms inside the chrysalis. It is astonishing!
  • Did you know that the proboscis (mouth part we usually call a tongue) emerges from the chrysalis in two parts and that the butterfly has to piece it together or it dies from starvation?

There is a wonderful section on the Monarch migration to Mexico too. Did you know that the Monarchs that make this journey have never done so before and that it is a complicated route to get there?

Metamorphosis is more than just a 64 minute science DVD; it is literally mind-altering. It more than challenges the belief that there is no Intelligent Designer—it downright refutes it! The transformation from egg to butterfly is so profoundly complex there is no other answer. Every effect must have a cause and this DVD proves these beautiful astonishing creatures have an Intelligent Designer that transcends the natural world. It was a delightful movie to share with my children and I am so thrilled to be able to share it with you.

-Product review by Kate Kessler, Product Reviews Director, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2015