Earth

Posted on May 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Low-key and mostly off-camera references to predators and life cycles
Diversity Issues: Diverse species
Date Released to Theaters: April 22, 2009

This stunning valentine to our planet’s plants and animals re-purposes some of the footage from the stunning documentary Planet Earth into a more narrative storyline, taking us through the seasons and across the globe to see nature’s eternal themes of renewal and connection. We see cooperation and nurture by parents across species. And we see the perils of the animal world as well.
The narration drags at times, mostly avoiding getting too cute but sometimes, even with the voice of James Earl Jones, sounding too much like an educational film for Social Studies classrooms. It alternates between almanac-worthy facts and figures and cozy folkish narratives about the animal families, never matching the grandeur of the visuals.
Parents should know that there are some discreet references to the life cycle and survival issues, some G-rated footage of predators (no blood), and not all of the animals make it to the end of the movie. There are also references to the consequences of climate change on the habitats of the animals.
Topics for discussion: Which of the animals are most like humans? Why?
If you like this, try: Planet Earth, Microcosmos, and Winged Migration.

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Documentary Movies -- format

9 Replies to “Earth”

  1. The Circle of Life – with tooth and claw. even the Lion King had a little bit of that.
    This is a great video!

  2. A word of warning based on my family’s experience: my 5- and 8-year-old daughters didn’t do well with the death: five, by my count, and one in sllllooowwww motion. Even my 10-year-old son wasn’t so crazy about the deaths. True, there was no blood, but it was sort of heavy of sensitive kids. My girls ended up missing a good part of the movie. Too bad, because it is stunningly beautiful and educational as well. (BTW, there were a couple of LOL moments as well.)

  3. Thanks so much for this comment, which is very helpful. As you can see, I am recommending it for 4th grade and up — I disagree with the G rating. The death of a parent animal and the scenes of the predators were especially tough.

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