Disney Nature’s Earth (2009)

The kind folks at the newly established Disney Nature division want to make sure those who missed out on the stunning 2006 Discovery Channel/BBC miniseries Planet Earth get another chance. Earth is a re-edited, recycled version of the globe-trotting miniseries, cutting down 8 hours to a bladder-friendly 95 minutes. Disney has given the film a family-friendly narrative, following the exploits of three families; a mamma polar bear and her cubs, a whale and offspring, and an elephant and its little thundering toddlers (note to parents: the film doesn’t shy away from death but you won’t watch any onscreen kills). The footage is jaw-dropping and to witness it on the big screen is a must-see. The mini-series, and by extension the new movie, is a powerful advertisement for conservation without having to get on-message or preachy. The gorgeous images speak volumes. The filmmakers spent over 5 years compiling mass amounts of footage, and some cameramen sat in isolated and harsh conditions for a year in order to snap rare moments on film. While the film cannot rival the mini-series, it’s still a highly watchable experience with eye-popping visuals and, really, little else. It serves as a tasty appetizer for the larger main course, the immersive and riveting Planet Earth mini-series. But hey, there is something God-like about listening to James Earl Jones detail the particulars of life on this spinning blue orb. Earth is mostly spectacle but ho boy, is it first-rate spectacle.

Nate’s Grade: A-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on April 22, 2009, in 2009 Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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