Movie review: "Earth"
The exhaustive BBC documentary series Planet Earth just had too much natural grandeur to stay confined to a small screen. For Earth, the first movie to be released by Disney's new nature film imprint, filmmakers Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield have culled material from the series and added it to previously unseen footage for a 'round-the-world, family-friendly, multi-species view of migration, mating, hunting and nurturing.
The most time is spent with a family of polar bears, a mother elephant and her calf, and a humpback whale and her offspring. All are on the move, either for food or for a better seasonal climate. James Earl Jones fills in details on their struggles and our complicity in their changing habitats with a narration that occasionally gets gratingly cutesy (between this and the cuts away from lions and wolves about to devour prey, the target audience is clear).
Yet as commanding a voice as Jones has, it's not that hard to push it to the back of your head when confronted with the stunning sight of thousands of cranes traversing the Himalayas.