Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
James Earl Jones
And though Disney Nature’s EARTH takes the same footage from the 11 hour series and edits it down in to a more friendly 90 minutes, it doesn’t make the footage any less fascinating to watch. Ever wanted to see 30 lions take down an elephant? A polar bear throw himself into a crowd of walruses? A great white shark eat a seal in terrifyingly slow slow-motion? You’re in luck! And it’s all better than the cute but overrated MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, even legitimately suspenseful in parts.
If you’ve seen the full PLANET EARTH, of course this condensed version does feel unnecessary and skimming the surface, but the smaller runtime does makes this an entertaining and informative film for children to get them interested in something other than cartoon violence. It’ll be easy for kids to connect to the family-centered stories presented (which means an abundance of footage of adorable baby animals). Just be warned that it isn’t all fun and light fluff. The filmmakers don’t mind show sad footage of animals dying or being led to their doom. Which brings me to my only gripe with EARTH: the overly preachy environmentalist message. They’re definitely not shy about rubbing your face in the scare of global warming, to the point where it almost feels like “Well, kids, the father of these cute polar bear cubs is going to die of hunger because your parents refuse to take public transportation.” One or two quick messages would get the point across, but the constant reiterating almost brings it in to the territory of Leo DiCaprio’s 11TH HOUR.
Then again, you gotta love a movie with James Earl Jones narrates a bird’s elaborate quest to get laid.
Filmmaker Annotations: This cool feature makes the most out of the Blu Ray format with picture in picture comments with some cool trivia and stories about key scenes, as well as behind the scenes footage and interviews.
The Blu-Ray also comes with the standard DVD, which also includes the Earth Diaries documentary, so you get the best of both worlds.
Extra Tidbit: This movie pointed out something that I found interesting enough to repeat. Whales, as mammals, also give off milk to their offspring. In fact, a baby whale will drink over 100 gallons of milk a day. To quote OMC, “how bizarre.”