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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Animals > Environment > Earth (Disneynature/2007/Blu-ray w/DVD)

Earth (Disneynature/2007/Blu-ray w/DVD)


Picture: B-/C+     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: C+     Film: B-



Disney has been making documentaries and films about nature for decades and though they have been criticized for animals in their parks and pollution by being a big corporation, they have been as adamant about the subject as any of the major studios gong back to before they were a major studio.  Earth (2007) is co-directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield; an ambitious, expensive, varied and detailed production in what has become a cycle in an environmentally conscious era.


If you have not seen this kind of film before, it is more impressive than if you have seen so many like it.  Add TV mini-series (like Planet Earth from the BBC, reviewed elsewhere on this site) and a sense of overlap sets in somewhat.  However, as long as the environment is in danger, not enough of these productions can be made and seen because not enough is changing quickly enough and if things actually do go down the drain for us all, these will be proof that the human species failed due to ignorance.


James Earl Jones narrated this U.S. version (though I would love to hear Patrick Stewart doing the U.K. version and if Disney was clever (with all due respect to Jones), having Stewart on an alternate track along with Jones work would have won this release more viewers by default as a curio.


This 90-minutes-long feature follows three types of animals, all of whom despite their might and size, could be extinct in the near future if action is not taken.  They include elephants, polar bears and humpback whales.  Fans of these animals and nature in general know this already, in part from hunting by people who need to find a new line of work over being greedy, hateful and even idiotic.  If anything, this is not long enough in one sense and I wish tried a new approach in another as Sharkwater (reviewed elsewhere on this site) had.

Still, it is well done and worth a good look.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot on a wide mix of film and video, HD and of lower definition, resulting in a documentary-style presentation despite some good shots.  At its best, the image looks good, yet soft and the anamorphically enhanced DVD is more so.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 48/24 lossless 5.1 mix is not bad, but not very expansive and Jones’ narration sounds limited, boxy and a bit compressed.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is even a little weaker.  Still, the Blu-ray has its moments.


The only extras (give or take the DVD, which we will not count) are Earth Diaries (a making-of piece) and Blu-ray exclusive Filmmaker’s Annotations section.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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