Review: 'Earth'

Beautifully filmed documentary follows the lives of three animal families – whales, polar bears, and elephants – and gently underscores our responsibility to the ecosystem.

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As I never tire of telling people, I have an aversion to nature documentaries that overdose on tooth and claw. We already know it's a savage world out there in the wilds or under the sea, so why rub it in when there's so much supernal stuff to show? As if tailor-made to my concerns, along comes "Earth," the first film in the new Disneynature series and brought to us by directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the team behind "Planet Earth." Shot with stunning clarity and beauty, the documentary separately follows three animal families – whales, polar bears, and elephants – as they make their way across the planet. If anything, the film is a bit too sunny and Disneyish (especially at the end) about the travails we have been witnessing, which include, alas, a snippet of an elephant being fatally attacked by a pack of lions. But for most of the way this is an eye-popping, not blood-curdling, experience. Grade: B+

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