By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT’S EARTH ABOUT?
90-minute version of the incredible BBC documentary miniseries Planet Earth.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-)
What the film version lacks in the miniseries’ thoroughness, it makes up for in a breathless pace that relentlessly transports you all over the world (as any great adventure film should). The footage is, quite simply, some of the most stunning ever captured on film, in any genre.
What’s more, Earth works as a riveting drama, following three families (polar bears, humpback whales, and African elephants) as they try to survive predators, climate change, and the search for food, over the course of one year. I found myself invested in the survival of these animals as much or more than any fictional character, due at least in part to clever editing and skillful narration by James Earl Jones. The wonder of nature makes for a terrific blockbuster.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Earth is rated G. There are some moments of animals in peril and some scenes of animals being attacked by predators, though thankfully there is no gory or bloody footage.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
With perseverance, grit, and teamwork you can survive almost anything.
Another Disney film that captures the magic of the animal kingdom is Swiss Family Robinson!
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.