There’s a sense in which it seems fairly nonsensical to review Earth, the pseudo-docu-whatever released by Disney via BBC and The Discovery Channel, but in the end it delivers so well that some manner of kudos are in order… even if a review isn’t.
Before the movie starts, you’re going to hear about Disney’s True Life Adventure series, which were naturementaries that received high praise back in the pre-1960 world of entertainment. Now, we might just be trying to sell you on your plans for next Earth Day, but I was glad for the promo. I remember a different era of Disney. Wondering what you were going to save your last few E tickets for, and a better viewpoint behind the production schedule.
Earth is rather reminiscent of a different kind of Disney. There’s a certain story to the thing, but mainly it’s just a loosely-worked frame that is our excuse to look at some incredible imagery… and cute, baby animals. And, that’s okay. And, there are lessons to be learned, whether they are the ones we are meant to learn or not. For instance, if an elephant was smart enough to just step on a lion’s head when he could see the damn thing, a lot less elephants would get eaten by lions.
As I said, really reviewing seems meaningless. It’s a lot of gorgeous footage of the incredible majesty of Earth itself, and some superb video of animals in their natural environment. That’s hard to argue with, and if there is a bit of an agenda behind things… whatever. Our narrator James Earl Jones (who takes over for Patrick Stewart because he’s going to say “circle of life” at one point, and we’re used to Jones saying that) watches a cheetah chase down some prey with us, and I like what he says. I’ll let you find out for yourself what that is.
It’s a moving and beautiful film, and what’s best about it is that whether it’s an unbelievable waterfall, a duckling (let’s face it) falling out of a tree, or a wolf taking down a baby caribou – it’s all meant to be moving… and beautiful. The overarching story of the polar bears ended up rubbing me the wrong way a little bit though. The footage of animals being hunted down worked great for me, and even though you want to help out that damn elephant, it’s a wonderful part of the whole. But, when a polar bear gets lost, and then lands starving on some ice unable to take on a herd of walruses (walrus? walri?), even if you’re trying to amp up your statement on global warming, I feel like maybe a cameraman could help a brother out.
Are You Screening?
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