Run Time: 1 hr. 30 min.

Director Mark Linfield in Disneynature’s “Earth” (2009).

Director Mark Linfield in Disneynature’s “Earth” (2009).

As might be expected, since this is from Disney, this has some awe-inspiring cinematography. As also might be expected, some of the stories are awfully hard to swallow.
Take the first one, for instance. We are shown a mama bear and her two young cubs, just coming out from a winter of hibernation. Then there’s a cut to what we are told is their “father,” out on the ice, trying to get food, I guess. As the film progresses, we keep coming back to the old man. Forgive me, but I don’t believe that the bear out there on the ice has anything to do with the mama and her two cubs. It’s just hokey story-telling. I could be wrong, and that bear might be the father of the two cubs, but Disney’s modus operandi has always been to make animals like humans (remember Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Bambi, just to name three?). In so doing, here they harm the story they are telling.
Disney has been advertising this by comparing it to 2005’s “March of the Penguins.” “Earth” is about as close to “March of the Penguins” as Roseanne Barr is to Marilyn Monroe. “March of the Penguins” had a cohesive story, and it was told from beginning to end. While Disney tries to foist the story of the bears on us as a Penguin-type story, it’s not.
There is another story of a humpback whale and her calf swimming 4,000 miles to their destination. It reminded me of a film I saw on cable of a similar whale and her calf that were being pursued by sharks, waiting for weakness to attack the calf. It was real and heart-wrenching to watch. I don’t believe that Disney’s cameramen actually followed their humpback whales all the way on their alleged 4,000 mile journey, but maybe they did. If so, that must have been one boring assignment, which is why I don’t believe they did.
Essentially, this is a bunch of stories that are pieced together. They are interesting, but I doubt their verisimilitude.
The film does talk about the rainforest, however slightly. In all the rigmarole about “global warming,” the rainforest is ignored. At least Disney knows that it exists, although it foists a bald canard when it says that, “as weather patterns change, the rainforests are starting to dry up.” What rubbish! The rainforest has been there for 60 million years. Right now, in the 20th-21st century, suddenly they fail? They are disappearing because MAN is destroying them. Why doesn’t Al Gore get on this problem? It’s quite possible that if global warming is occurring, the destruction of the rainforest is the primary cause. Shame on Disney for putting forth such a hypothesis as fact. Actually, the converse might be true, that is, “as rainforests disappear, weather patterns change as a result thereof.”


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