Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth on Earth Day

The new Disney movie, "Earth," opened today. I picked up GrayBear a little early from school and we hit the matinee.

"Earth" does a wonderful job of hitting a number of geological spots around the world. Footage was shot in over 200 locations in almost 70 countries including the frozen tundra of Antarctica, the dry Sahara dessert, and of course the ocean. It's very informative, too, but not in a boring way. (I didn't feel like a child begrudgingly watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom in the early 70s). While there isn't necessarily a plot, per se, we follow a few animal families on their own journeys of survival and see glimpses of other species along the way.

It is an intimate story that explores the natural cycle of life and death and how the changing environment is affecting that cycle.

My favorite part was, of course, the cinematography. They went to great measures to get the incredible footage that was required to make this something more than a science film. You learn a little bit about some of these extreme measures during the credits - only one of which was via a small hot air balloon two-seater.

The footage is absolutely breathtaking and the music score feels relevant and appropriate. As a reporter from the Chicago-Tribune wrote, it is "beautiful enough to forgive Disney for Hannah Montana: The Movie." Love it!

A note for parents: though there is no raw footage of animals being brutally ravished by their predators, death is definitely implied. My 6-year old felt sad and scared about some of those instances, so while it is G rated, it's still something to consider.

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