Culled from the BBC’s staggering 11-part documentary series Planet Earth, Disneynature’s Earth demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Fundamentally a condensed trailer for the BBC’s portrait of the globe’s myriad habitats, the film offers a skimpy but reverential portrait of the intertwined relationship between the environment and its inhabitants. Loosely structured around the changing of the seasons and three animal families (polar bear, humpback whale, elephant) embarking on arduous journeys of survival, Earth begins its circular trek in the Arctic North and then wends its way south through, among other locales, the scarcely populated Boreal forests (as large as all the rain forests combined), the North American woodland forests, and the African deserts, capturing in each location a view of nature’s fierce, rapturous majesty as well as the means by which birds and mammals engage in instinctive mating rituals and navigate eons-honed migration routes. Throughout, the repetition of innate patterns and the closeness of family and community—here, primarily between mother and child, and the individual and the herd—are shown to be imperative. And though a G rating means that the natural world’s viciousness is somewhat mitigated in presentation, with scenes of predatory hunts cut short before bloodshed occurs, the film persistently imparts a sense of looming peril posed by carnivores, hunger, and environmental transformations, the last threat touched upon just enough—with regard to the melting polar ice caps—to provide subtle recognition of dawning climate change. Earth exhibits awe in the face of the planet’s wonders and terrors, from the sight of two polar bear cubs emerging from hibernation to catch their first glimpse of the sunlight, to that of a great white shark bursting from the water with a seal clenched between its teeth. Although too brief and cursory to be comprehensive, it nonetheless remains an appetizer sure to stoke viewers’ hunger for the BBC-produced main course.
- 89 min
- Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
- Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, Leslie Megahey
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: