Disney has made an auspicious beginning to its new film production arm, Disneynature, with the breathtaking, yet cautionary feature, â€œâ€ opening in theaters on Earth Day.
Five years in the making, â€œEARTHâ€ follows the sunâ€™s warming influence from arctic winter 700 miles from the North Pole as it travels south to the Antarctic. The epic journey is told through the eyes of three key animal families: a polar bear mother struggling to feed her newborn cubs as the sun melts the ice beneath their feet; a determined elephant mother who guides her tiny calf on an endless trek across the Kalahari Desert in search of fresh water; and a humpbacked whale mother and her calf as they undertake the longest migration of any marine mammalâ€”4,000 miles from the tropics to the Antarctic in search of food.
Although the filmâ€™s commentary is provided by one of the worldâ€™s most celebrated voices, James Earl Jones, â€œEARTHâ€ really needs no narration, the featured animal families tell their own tales.Â They are heroes; they have their battles, they have their defeats, they have their victories, and their stories are as fascinating as any big-screen drama.
â€œEARTHâ€ is an extraordinary portrait of our planet, revealing its natural splendors as they have never been seen before. At a time when we are all becoming increasingly aware of global warming and the fragile state of the planet we call home, â€œEARTHâ€ is a movie of the moment. Disneynature plans to release a film annually on Earth Day. Next yearâ€™s release will be â€œOCEAN,â€ and if â€œEARTHâ€ is any indication, it will be well worth the wait.
A note of warning for Mom and Dad: nature can be cruel, and some scenes may be too frightening for the wee ones. You may want to schedule a â€œCircle of Lifeâ€ conversation before the show, or stick to the animated animals for the time being.
Be sure to stick around for the credits, and youâ€™ll see some of the amazing methods used to film this remarkable feature. (Running time: 1 hr 36 min. Rated: G)
Big Fat Rating: â˜…â˜…â˜… 1/2