Did Chris Knight Actually Watch BBC’s Planet Earth?

This morning I read 3 film reviews of Disney’s Earth which is a recycled, watered-down version of BBC’s Planet Earth. I read the print editions but here are the links to the reviews:

  1. Chris KnightEarth: Bambi Reloaded (National Post)
  2. Peter HowellEarth: Takes recycling a bit far (Toronto Star)
  3. Stephen ColeA view of our planet that’s out of this world (Globe and Mail)

I started with Chris Knight’s 3-star review and I began to wonder if he ever saw the Planet Earth miniseries. Knight recalls the famous scene in Planet Earth where a great white shark leaps out of the water:

This last shot I recall from the Planet Earth miniseries, but very little footage has been recycled, and the film’s emphasis leans more toward simple awe rather than the TV show’s bio-scientific focus.

Really? Every clip I’ve seen from the TV commercials for Earth are clips from Planet Earth. The other reviews I read indicate that Earth is a simply a recycled version of Planet Earth. Peter Howell’s biggest complaint about Earth is that:

“The animals in Earth, the ballyhooed first theatrical release from the new DisneyNature label, have all been seen before.”
“Anyone going to Earth expecting something new, as I was, is bound to be a bit disappointed, although the photography still commands awe.”
“This is taking recycling a bit far, even for a movie opening on Earth Day.”

Stephen Cole from the Globe and Mail obviously saw both films and agrees that:

Much of the eye-opening nature footage has been repurposed from the Discovery Channel’s Emmy-winning 2006 mini-series Planet Earth.

Chris Knight was too busy writing clever jokes to realize that it was Sir David Attenborough and not Sir Richard Attenborough that provided the narration for Planet Earth:

While the miniseries featured the stern Shakespearean delivery of Sir Richard Attenborough, Earth the movie goes for the more family-friendly bass notes of James Earl Jones. (Morgan Freeman must have been busy.)

To be honest, I made the same mistake of mixing up the Attenborough boys but I’m not getting paid to write a review for a national newspaper! I haven’t seen Earth but thanks to Peter Howell’s solid review I won’t need to. I like the National Post but I won’t be reading another Chris Knight review after today.

I recently finished watching all of BBC’s Planet Earth on Blu-ray and have no interest in watching Disney’s kid-friendly version narrated by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones). Disney is a slick marketing machine but do yourself a favour and watch the real thing on DVD or Blu-ray — BBC’s Planet Earth.

Posted in Movies at 10:22 AM