Remember when DVD players were mostly a luxury for the home theater crowd, and pretty much anyone who bought one also picked up a copy of Twister to test his system’s limits? Well, it certainly isn’t an audio/CGI workout on that level, but Disney’s Earth is so stunningly gorgeous that it might be the first true “gotta have it” purchase for Blu-ray owners. Yes, it’s just another nature documentary — and in an age when you can switch on Discovery Channel HD at almost any hour and see something that takes your breath away — but…wow. Just wow.
Disney took some heat for the way Earth was assembled, and perhaps rightly so; it’s basically a boiled-down version of the BBC’s mammoth Planet Earth series, and though it uses some footage that wasn’t aired on the show, it’s still mostly reheated goods. But nobody wants to watch seven and a half hours of anything in a theater, and this is Disney — they’re aiming Earth at kids, whose attention spans are built for the film’s 90-minute length. This is actually one of the first projects from the studio’s new Disneynature banner, intended to expose the Disney demographic to the sights and sounds of the world around us, which is awfully hard to complain about. Even if you were enthralled by Planet Earth during its TV run, in other words, don’t be so quick to write off Earth as its shrimpier cousin; in any house with kids, it’s got a charm all its own. Continue reading