The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a secluded place it has never been, yet with pinpoint navigational accuracy. Follow the monarchs’ perilous and extraordinary journey and experience hundreds of millions of REAL butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico. For the first time ever, look inside a chrysalis with MRI and micro CT scans. Be captivated by the true and compelling story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find their secret hideaway, with the help of citizen scientists across North America. Supported by the National Science Foundation with an extensive and high-quality educational outreach program, the film interweaves both spellbinding natural history with an uplifting human story. Featuring breathtaking cinematography and an award-winning production team, including Oscar® winner Peter Parks, the film has received consistent rave reviews in independent audience tests across all age groups. Unravel the mysteries and join us on the Flight of the Butterflies.

Length: 14:00, 24:00 and 44:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 2012
  • Date Released:
    October 2012
  • Alternate Titles:
  • Status: In Distribution
  • 3D: Yes
  • Run Time: <20, 20-30, 31-50
  • Formats: 15/70,DCI-compliant Digital,IMAX Digital,Dome-customized 15/70,Fulldome
  • Distributor:

    SK Films

  • Produced By:
    SK Films, Sin Sentido Films, Picture Projects
  • Executive Producer: Jonathan Barker, Wendy MacKeigan, Maria Elena Gutierrez
  • Producer: Jonathan Barker, Mike Slee, Rafael Cuervo, Myles Connolly (supervising producer), Kym Crepin (line producer)
  • Director:  Mike Slee
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Mike Slee, Wendy MacKeigan
  • Cinematography: Simon de Glanville, Paul Williams, Peter Parks (macro-photography)
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects:
  • Music/Score: 
  • Editor: Susan Shipton
  • Narrator: Megan Follows
  • Other Credits: Starring Gordon Pinsent, Patricia Phillips, Shaun Benson, Stephanie Sigman.
  • Sponsors: Sectur Federal, Mexican Tourism Board, SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources of Mexico), IMCINE (Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografia), The State of Michoacan, State of Mexico, Grupo Bimbo, Femsa.


  • Documentary
  • Historical
  • Nature



  • IMAX Hall of Fame Award, 2023
  • Best Film, Short Subject, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Film for Lifelong Learning, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Cinematography, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Original Score, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Sound Design, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor, GSCA 2013 Achievement Awards
  • Best Immersive 3D/Large Format Film, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival 2013
  • Grand Prize, Los Angeles 3D Movie Festival
  • Grand Remi, Worldfest Houston International Film Festival
  • Best Science Content, International Wildlife Film Festival Montana
  • Best Story, IPS Macao International Fulldome Festival

Film Facts

Educational participants: U.S. National Science Foundation, Maryland Science Center, Smithsonian Institution, Monarchs in the Classroom. Conservation Partners: Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza, Monarch Watch, Journey North.