Disneynature’s First Foray EARTH walks a careful path

The Walt Disney Company makes no attempt to hide the fact that they’re looking to capture the magic of Walt Disney’s “True Life Adventures” with their new film label Disneynature. The question is can Disney find the modern equivalent to the line between entertainment and documentary that Walt knew so well.

Disney, because of its huge influence on children and culture, is a target for criticism no matter how carefully it fashions its entertainment, and is trying to walk a line cautiously with “Earth.” The company wants to depict nature in an unflinching manner, partly to attract top-notch documentarians to future projects and partly to foster environmental awareness.

At the same time, Disney’s goal is to create hit entertainment. While producers have tried not to anthropomorphize the animals in “Earth,” the movie does turn them into characters with story arcs devised to tug on viewer emotions. That aspect is likely to make pockets of Disney’s primary audience — families and children — a little uncomfortable.

While “Earth” may include a lot of footage that has previously been aired on the Discovery Channel, it’s never been seen on the large screen and will certainly take on new impact, especially if seen on the IMAX. Don’t forget if you buy a ticket to see “Earth” in the first week, Disney will plant a tree in the rainforest in your honor.

(Via the NY Times)

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