THE GREATEST SHOW IS "EARTH" @ 12 September 2009 11:21 AM
We are so used to computer generated special effects that when the real thing comes along, it's hard to believe that it's the genuine article, but when you see some of the images in the first Disneynature feature, Earth, you might find yourself thinking what we did -- "that's too amazing to be real."
Back when Walt Disney, along with filmmakers Alfred and Irma Milotte, later Larry Lansburgh and of course, Roy E. Disney, produced the True-Life Adventure Series, they were shot on 16mm film with the best materials they had at the time. Now the benefits of digital motion picture equipment and other modern day advances have made possible images of such clarity and majesty, well, it's overwhelming at times.
Like the original True-Life Series, the film follows a basic storyline that makes characters out of several animals in order to thread a storyline into the film. It must have been a bit of a challenge to retain the humor and empathy of the Winston Hibler narration of the past without some of the folksy excesses.
It doesn't hurt that James Earl Jones handles both the drama and whimsy with deft skill -- and George Fenton's music, which like Paul Smith's classic scores-- has to support the picture, wall-to-wall, yet never intrusively and quite magnificently (where's the soundtrack album?)
Entertainment Weekly has already stated that Disney's Earth is a movie that begs to seen in Blu-Ray. In today's economy it's asking a lot of the public to adapt to another format, but Earth makes a very valid case for the conversion.
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