6.21.2010

Earth : 4 of 5

Disney Nature EarthI'm really enjoying the new films being released by Disneynature, and since I loved seeing Earth at the theater, I was thrilled to get this DVD as a Christmas gift from my cousin Clinton! It was wonderful to watch the film again, and I was really impressed with the sharp picture even though this isn't a Blu-ray disc, which really showcased the beautiful photography. Most of my thoughts during the movie were the same as when I originally saw it (appreciating the mind-blowing images and the non-preachy yet subtle environmental message), but I also tried to focus on certain segments that were stunning, such as the lynx slowly walking though the snowy landscape. I also liked the shot of the solitary giraffe in the flooded grassland, and of course the tense moment where the lions and elephants share the same water hole, declaring a fragile truce simply because they both need to survive. I really enjoyed the musical score as well, and noticed how majestic it was compared to the often light-hearted tone of the original True Life Adventures. The DVD includes an amazing 45-minute documentary about the making of the film, and I was shocked at some of the trials the photographers went through to get each perfect shot over the course of five years. The "plot" of the movie was actually storyboarded so each photography team knew what they were hoping to get, but then they had to wait forever for the perfect moment! It took a full month of waiting to film the polar bears emerging from their den, and over three weeks to get a shot of the cheetah chasing a gazelle! There's also some great discussion of the camera technology used, such as 360-degree motion cameras that were mounted on the bottom of helicopters and the super high-speed camera with a thousand-frame buffer. Both the film itself and the filmmakers' dedication are absolutely incredible, making Earth a beautiful movie that's great to experience again on DVD!