Earth

Earth

2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5

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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.

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DVD
Distributor
Disneynature
Runtime
89 min
Rating
G
Year
2007
Director
Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
Screenwriter
Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, Leslie Megahey