Earth Parent Guide
I'm not sure beautifully filmed animal antics contain a strong enough argument about my responsibility to the planet to justify the environmental impact of my trip to the theatre.
Parent Movie Review
Earth, a collaborative effort by Disney Studios and the BBC, offers viewers some stunning visuals of the world where we live. However, if you’re a fan of the television series “Planet Earth”, you’ll likely recognize some of this footage that appears to have been recycled from that program along with a line or two from a Disney classic.
The documentary focuses on the migratory journeys of several different species during a one-year cycle of the Earth’s rotation around the sun. In the cold Arctic snows, a polar bear and her cubs poke their noses out of a snow bank and make their way to the water’s edge in search of dinner. A humpback whale and her calf leave the warm waters of the tropics in search of better feeding grounds thousands of miles away and a herd of elephant parents and babies make an arduous journey to a watering hole on the African continent. These “stars”, along with several other groups of mammals and birds, depict the resilience and struggles faced by members of the animal kingdom around the planet.
Narrated by James Earl Jones, (Patrick Stewart voices the English version) the film also contains some great musical scores to accompany the gorgeous cinematography. However, younger audiences may find it difficult to engage in a movie without any talking characters or a specific storyline. Still, with fairly sanitized hunting encounters and only a brief mating dance (which is rejected), the film offers few concerns that parents might have to explain later.
The production also steers clear of an oppressive environmental message although it does address some of the problems and dangers faced by the animals as a result of global warming. And maybe that is what I found a little disappointing about this first feature-length installment of Disney Nature. While I’m not interested in paying for yet another heavy-handed guilt trip about my ecological footprint, I’m also not sure animal antics alone (even these beautifully filmed ones) contain a strong enough argument about my responsibility to the planet to justify the environmental impact of my trip to the theatre.Starring James Earl Jones, Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield.. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release April 22, 2009. Updated July 25, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Earth rated G? Earth is rated G by the MPAA
This feature-length documentary depicts several scenes of hunters attacking their prey. Little to no blood is seen. Male birds engage in mating dances. Other animals are shown in peril or distress. A starving polar bear lies down to die after failing to secure food. Other animals are shown suffering from the lack of sustenance and water, as well as long migrations. A bear nearly drowns after the ice floe he is on disappears.
Page last updated July 25, 2016
More parents' guide for Earth after the break...
Earth Parents' Guide
In the film, the humpback whales create a bubble net in order to catch fish to feed on. What other things do the animals in this story do to increase their ability to survive? How do some of them work together?
What impact does music have in this documentary in creating feeling or emotion? Is that a fair way for filmmakers to elicit audience reaction? How does the music during the penguin segment differ from that of the elephant scenes?
What do the mother animals do in this film to protect and encourage their babies?
The most recent home video release of Earth movie is September 1, 2009. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Earth
Release Date: 1 September 2009
Bring the whole world into your family room with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Earth.
Earth on DVD offers audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English, French and Spanish). The disc also includes Earth Diaries: The Making Of The Movie.
Earth on Blu-ray provides audio tracks in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English) and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (French and Spanish). Bonus extras include:
- Filmmaker Annotations: Earth Diaries: The Making Of The Movie
- DVD copy of the film.
Related home video titles:
Documentaries can provide a great starting point for discussion. Arctic Tale is a National Geographic film that focuses on the impact global warming has on polar bears and walruses in the far north. Flow addresses the increasing issue of maintaining safe supplies of drinking water around the world. The health of the planet is also addressed in the film 11th Hour, which tackles the role of human greed in environmental disasters.