Earth, the first release from the new arm of Disney, DisneyNature, may be the most beautifully shot film you will see all year – and James Earl Jones could make the phone book sound great. Unfortunately, the cinematography is really the only stellar part of the film.
The trailer for Earth says it follows three animal families. That’s only partially true. Besides the attention spent on the polar bear family, the elephant family and the whale family, we get detours to watch wolves stalk caribou, baboons having a problem with “waterfront property,” and penguins [which have their own, “built-in toboggans”]. The result is that, of the film’s ninety-six minutes, after digressions and credits, there’s about eighty minutes split between the three families – most of it on the elephants.
Disney introduces Disneynature, its first new label in sixty years, with a truly unique promotion. For every paid admission over the course of the first of its premiere film, EARTH, Disneynature will plant a tree. If, say, ten million tickets are sold, then ten million trees will be planted [that’s a lot of carbon dioxide being converted to oxygen!].
Disney’s goal is to ensure that it plants trees in areas that conservationists have identified as important hot spots of biodiversity. Disney will oversee the planting of the trees in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, which is considered the most endangered rain forest in the world. Today, only 7 percent of the Atlantic Forest remains. Disney is committed to ensuring the trees are planted and cared for to provide the greatest long term benefit for the planet.
EARTH, which premieres on Earth Day – April 22, 2009 – follows the lives of three animal families. The film is narrated by the legendary James Earl Jones. If the trailer for EARTH is any indication, the film should be breathtakingly beautiful.