Review of Disney's New "earth" Movie...I Saw it and I am Still Crying
I was honored last night to be sitting in the reserved area for press at a showing of the new "earth" movie from Disney. I only got to sit there because there was no press at the showing. That was my first surprise at the movie last night. This is Mickey's backyard here in Orlando and not one member of the press was there.
As members of the Orlando Science Center, my family (as well as about 250 other people) were treated to a special, early showing of this movie that I have been waiting to see for months. The regular release date for the movie is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day 2009. I am not sure whether there will be similar showings around the US and world or whether we just got the early showing because we live in the land of "the Mouse" here in Orlando.
Please be aware that just because "earth" has a G rating, this movie is not suitable for all ages. My three year old said half way through the movie, "I don't like this channel!"
I must say that I agreed with her.
Not that the images were not absolutely incredible, even though some were just a bit fuzzy. I gathered that those shots were slightly out of focus because of the huge distance from which they were shot. These are images you have never seen before and the music should be up for some sort of an award. The music (pure, old school Disney) filled my heart and soul with feelings of love and sadness which I have never felt from a movie...even Sophie's Choice! I have it playing now and am tearing up. I think I may be like Pavlov's Dogs now.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was actually the end when they showed how some of the shots were taken. Be sure to stay for that as it was very interesting and you can see the absolute dedication of these cinematographers. The work that went into getting these never before seen shots in the wild should also be lauded along with the music.
If you go to the movie, you will be treated to scenes such as a mother polar bear waking from hibernation and venturing out of her den. I don't know about you, but I have never seen anything like that. You will see and feel the vastness of the Arctic. The shots of mom polar bear blinking her dark eyes at the blaring daylight reflected on the snow, slowly crawling out of her den, trying to walk and coaxing her two babies outside will forever be ingrained in my heart.
So too will all of the shots of death be ingrained upon my heart and the feeling (I think that Disney wanted me to take away) that in some way I am to blame for some of this (what some would call natural) cycle of death.
After the first death scene, my 12 year old said, "That's nature."
After the last death scene the 12 year old said, "This movie sucks."
Disney said this is the "circle of life that most of us in our urban life have lost touch with."
I guess I should say "Thanks" for bringing me back in touch with the circle of life (mostly the death part of the circle)...over and over and over again in an hour and a half? I expected to see, and had warned my kids, that there would be animals hunting and that meant baby animals dying. We were prepared for that. This is the "timeless ritual of hunter and hunted" as James Earl Jones told us in his narration. What I was not prepared for was the push to make me feel that these incredible animals are dying because of my carbon emissions.
"Late summer in the Arctic and the ice is melting fast. Each year as our planet warms, the ice melts faster and it is bad for polar bears." booms Earl Jones whose voice was perfection.
We see just how bad it is for the polar bears through the struggle of dad polar bear during the entire movie. Clearly Disney agrees with Global Warming. Perhaps it was just my take that Disney put so much death into this movie along with references to Global Warming so as to guilt me into trading in my Suburban for a Prius. Perhaps not.
If it was Disney's intention to make people so sad, depressed and guilty that they do all they can to save the planet, they may have gone a bit too far in the direction of the death and sadness to get through to all. If Disneynature wanted to create a movie to make a 9 year old sob, they did a great job!
To be fair, Disney never came out and said, "Your carbon emissions are causing the Global Warming which is changing the precious seasonal cycles that drive life on land and in oceans and is killing these animals." To me it was the message loud and clear.
My girls (who are very thick skinned) and I were ready for a feel good movie about 3 animal families and were surprised by what we saw and heard. If we were a bit more prepared for the huge amount of sadness and death, we may have left the movie without tear stained cheeks and heavy hearts. If I had known what I know now, I would not have taken my 9 year old (she kept asking me, as she peeked through her hands covering her eyes, if it was over yet?) and I certainly would not have brought along my 3 year old.
I am anxiously waiting to hear your thoughts and reviews...
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