Narrated by James Earl Jones.
Written by Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield and Leslie Megahey.
Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield.
Distributed by DisneyNature. 90 minutes. Rated G.
Disney Nature’s Earth has some of the most majestic, awe-inspiring shots you will ever see on screen.
Earth is actually a shortened version of an 11-hour BBC documentary called Planet Earth. The movie version was special released as an Earth Day event to American theaters – in a tactic that will apparently be an annual event, the DVD of Earth has a coming attractions trailer for a similar movie called Oceans for Earth Day 2010.
The film is a celebration of the beauty of nature, the diversity of life on Earth, a look at dozens of types of animals and forests all over the world, even giving a slight warning about how global warming is affecting species.
Though literally tens of thousands of animals appear onscreen during the 90 minutes of Earth (some of the shots of grand flocks of animals are literally stunning) the storyline – so to speak – has mostly been cut to show three animal families – a mother and father polar bear and their two cubs and mother and baby elephants and humpback whales as they take grand journeys for food and survival.
As narrated by James Earl Jones, all of the stories are fascinating – and yet all of the footage of other animals who are not part of these stories get you wondering about all the other footage that was not included.
Still, even in this short 90 minutes, you see so many truly amazing sights that the mind will have a bit of a hard time grasping it all. Humans have taken the planet for granted as just their own home. Earth reminds us of so many places and species that we never get to experience.
One slight warning though. Earth is rated G and should be seen by the family, but there are several scenes of large predators attacking small animals. While certainly a realistic fact of life and an important part of the story, these shots may be a little too intense for small children, although they are mostly cut rather tactfully. I know my six-year-old nephew was hysterical for about five minutes after a scene of a cheetah hunting down and killing a baby gazelle. So if you see the Disney name and the cute animals and think that small kids will love it, just be ready to have a serious discussion after the film is over.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: September 1, 2009.