The Wild Around You, New IMAX Film Showcases Amazing Animals In Our Own Backyards

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - by Casey Phillips

Living in a society where the demands of digital interactions are constantly multiplying and becoming more insistent, it can be all too easy to lose touch with the natural world. 

With our eyes glued to our phones, many people fail to look up and appreciate the aerial ballet of flocking waterfowl and songbirds or the awe-inspiring migration of Monarch Butterflies. And as we strive to add to our online networks, we often miss the more intimate connections we share with the Box Turtles, Flying Squirrels, Bluejays and other species living right in our backyard. 

On March 16, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will premiere The Wild Around You 3D, a new giant-screen film focused on the oft-neglected relationship between people and the animals with whom they share their world. 

The film centers on a modern suburban family and the animals that live in and near their home. Unbeknownst to their human neighbors — excepting one girl whose eyes are steadily opened to the wonder around her —the nearby woods teem with wildlife. The 45-minute film captures intimate moments of natural wonder happening right underfoot and overhead, from the daredevil free-fall of Wood Duck hatchlings leaving the nest and the annual migration of legions of Spotted Salamanders to the monumental power of a raindrop to turn a Ladybug’s world upside down. 

The Wild Around You 3D helps to shine a light on natural behaviors that often go overlooked or unnoticed. The filmmakers deployed tiny cameras, inventive motion-control rigs, time-lapse, and high-speed frame rates to take viewers inside animal dens from the forest canopy to beneath the ground. On Chattanooga’s largest screen, audiences will come antenna-close to Bumblebees taking off from White Clover and chuckle at the springtime descent of chittering Raccoon kits from treetop dens. These scenes take place in all four seasons and offer unprecedented views of wildlife in a setting that appears as if it were shot near Chattanooga. 

A visit to the Tennessee Aquarium can introduce guests to a vast array of animals from all over the world, as well as the biologically abundant Southeastern United States. Walking the galleries — especially after seeing The Wild Around You 3D — helps reinforce the notion that people are part of a complex ecosystem and share their home with incredible native wildlife, says Dr. Brooke Gorman, the Aquarium’s director of Science Education. 

“This kind of environmental education is very important for people, especially young children,” Dr. Gorman says. “It provides them with a connection to nature and the outdoors that many kids aren’t getting today with video games and TV and everything else they do. The more people can connect with nature, the more they really care about it and the more they want to take conservation actions.” 

And as the film’s nature-blind family awakens to the beauty just beyond their threshold, viewers hopefully will be likewise inspired to value and seek out the wonder of wildlife living in their own backyards, says Dave Collins, the Aquarium’s director of Forests and Animal Behavior.  

"To me, having wildlife in your yard enriches our lives so much,” Dr. Collins says, adding that learning to share your world with an animal can have a kind of positive domino effect. 

“If we can have things in the backyard to enjoy and interact with and give us a fuller appreciation of wildlife, it improves your life,” he adds. “Both of my kids loved going outside because they loved to explore the yard and find new things in it. Every time they went out, it was a new adventure.” 

The Wild Around You’s Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director and producer, Andrew Young, will introduce the film’s premiere at 5:30 p.m. on March 16. Register online for this special screening: http://www.tnaqua.org/events-programs 

Subsequent screenings will be shown daily at 11 a.m., 1, 3 and 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit tnaqua.org/imax/the-wild-around-you-3d

Kids can become backyard scientists during spring break at the Aquarium. They can meet fascinating animals and the experts who care for them before or after viewing “The Wild Around You 3D.” Extra programs will be offered each week between March 9 and April 8 to give youngsters a scientist’s view into the hidden lives and wonderful adaptations of the region’s creatures. http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/spring-break/ 

BUILDING A BACKYARD WILDLIFE OASIS 

Dr. Collins has spent decades finding ways to make his property a haven for native animals. Here are a few of his suggestions for making your backyard more appealing to wildlife: 

Leave it wild. When it comes to landscaping, allow some parts of your property to remain untamed and untidy. As they begin to compost, brush piles or trimmed limbs left behind after pruning can create warm, moist refuges for turtles, lizards and nesting ground birds. 

Learn to love edges. Places where one habitat transitions to another, such as where woodlands meet open meadows, support a range of species. You can make your landscape more palatable to a broader range of wildlife by offering transition zones with irregular borders, such as where your lawn meets your flowerbeds or hedgerow. 

Layers aren’t just for the fashionable. Natural environments consist of many layers of vegetation that provide habitat for a range of animals. By incorporating plants that occupy many vertical layers, from trees to shrubs to grasses, you’ll provide habitat for more species. 

Water, water everywhere. Many animals, especially birds and amphibians, are attracted to water and can even specialize in locating sources of it. Even small water features such as bird baths or a water garden can make your home more attractive to these species.  


Tennessee Aquarium Welcomes 25-Millionth Guest, Reflects On Impact

Tennessee State Museum To Explore The Art And Story In Tennessee Quilts With New Exhibition

Chattanooga Choo Choo Has Santa, Ice Skating And Holiday Shopping


On Saturday the Tennessee Aquarium celebrated the passage of a major milestone with the arrival of its 25-millionth guest since opening in 1992. Amanda, Michael, Michael, Jacob, and Taylor ... (click for more)

The Tennessee State Museum’s first new exhibition since its grand opening will be “Between the Layers: Art and Story in Tennessee Quilts.” Slated to open Feb. 8, 2019, and run through May 27, ... (click for more)

The holiday season is upon us, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo is bringing back all the classics. In addition to the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in Chattanooga, Santa will make his ... (click for more)


Travel

Tennessee Aquarium Welcomes 25-Millionth Guest, Reflects On Impact

On Saturday the Tennessee Aquarium celebrated the passage of a major milestone with the arrival of its 25-millionth guest since opening in 1992. Amanda, Michael, Michael, Jacob, and Taylor Roe from Bristol, came to Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquarium for the very first time . Ms. Roe was surprised to learn she was the aquarium’s 25-millionth guest. “We wanted to come ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Museum To Explore The Art And Story In Tennessee Quilts With New Exhibition

The Tennessee State Museum’s first new exhibition since its grand opening will be “Between the Layers: Art and Story in Tennessee Quilts.” Slated to open Feb. 8, 2019, and run through May 27, 2019, with quilts selected from the Museum’s vast collection, the show will highlight Tennessee’s quilt artistry and the stories embedded in those quilts, across more than two centuries and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Investors Planning $9 Million In Improvements At Run-Down Patten Towers Needs 25-Year Tax Abatement

An official of an investor group planning $9 million in improvements at run-down Patten Towers said a 25-year PILOT tax abatement is essential for the project to go forward. The City Council is asked to vote on the tax break on Dec. 18. The County Commission will be asked to okay a similar resolution. John Shepard of Nashville-based Elmington said current property taxes at ... (click for more)

Henderson, Mitchell Ask Council To Consider Language On Preserving Steep Slopes And Floodplains

City Council members Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell said they want the council to consider language on preserving steep slopes and floodplains. They said they want to go further than Councilman Darrin Ledford, who is proposing new curbs on erosion control and reducing stormwater runoff. Councilman Ledford on Tuesday presented a proposed new ordinance that adds a section ... (click for more)

Opinion

Alstom And Tubman: A Tale Of Two Sites

The former Alstom industrial site on the riverfront and the former Harriett Tubman housing site in East Chattanooga both have a lot of redevelopment potential. And yet the city of Chattanooga seems to view them quite differently. Alstom is the fair-haired child; Tubman is the forgotten child. The Alstom area was recently designated as an "opportunity zone" in a new program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We're Torturing Millions

I’ll admit it – I would rather hurt than take an opioid pain pill. Hydrocodone and its cousins scare the willies out of me because once when I was ‘drug sick,’ it was the worst sickness I have ever known. For somebody who always has somewhere that it hurts, I know that opioids are wonderful when used properly but because they are increasingly abused by society, there are now over ... (click for more)