“Awesome Planet,” is a brand new movie that just opened in the in The Land pavilion at EPCOT. It explores the spectacular beauty, natural diversity, and history of this planet we call Earth. The 10-minute film uses “4D” in-theater effects (including wind, scents and water) to tell the story of life on this planet and why it’s vitally important to care for it.
We visited this weekend and took this brief footage of the familiar carpeted lobby and the new signage for the film. No photos or video are allowed inside the theater:
The new movie is in what was originally called Harvest Theater. When EPCOT opened in 1982, it featured a movie called “Symbiosis.” It was replaced in 1995 by “Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable” that featured characters from Disney’s The Lion King animated feature.
“Awesome Planet” features narration by Ty Burrell, star of ABC’s “Modern Family,” and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price.
The showing I was in was about 70% full and the audience applauded at the end of it. The visuals are sharp and the music supports, but never overwhelms, the visuals. The in-theater effects were also relatively subtle. There were no moving seats or scenes that might be frightening to young children, except for a few moments where lightning is on screen.
While the narration never explicitly introduces Burrell, it does play off the Realtor character he played on “Modern Family.” The first portion of the movie pitches planet Earth like its a home we can move into. The final portion of the movie is more conservation focused and reminds us there’s no place else to capable of being our home and that we need to take care of it.
The message that we need to take better care of the planet isn’t subtle, but it’s not not obnoxious either. Hopefully a few families will leave inspired to consider the future of this awesome planet Earth and educate themselves further about the perils of climate change and changes we need to make to hold the worst of this made-made disaster at bay.
To learn more about Disney’s own efforts, guests are encouraged to look up the Disney Conservation Fund. A Google search currently sends you to this URL. I hope that Disney decides to upgrade it to more than just a platform for their own efforts.