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See a Movie, Save a Planet

April 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Conservation

If you have a Blu-ray player and a large LCD or plasma TV, you are probably aware of Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series. It is a jaw-droppingly phenomenal piece of filmmaking that not only lets you experience parts of the planet that you will never, ever get to see in person; it also makes full use of the high-definition Blu-ray format. Bar none, there’s no other title which is better for showing off a high-definition television setup.

It is also the first video production I ever heard of that was so popular and stunning, that it went from video to theatrical release. On April 22, Earth Day, Disney will release a movie called “EARTH”, by the same filmmakers who made Planet Earth. They’ve edited it to feature file release length and added a famous narrator (James Earl Jones). The movie tells the story of three animal families (elephants, polar bears and humpback whales) and their journeys across the planet.

Clearly, from an economic standpoint Disney is going after “March of the Penguins” numbers. But from an educational perspective, this is a good trend. I consider myself somewhat of an environmentalist, but I admit in many ways I think the extremest environmentalist movement sometimes does a disservice in their approach. Films like this aren’t preachy or “in-your-face” about saving the planet, but ironically the beauty of the planet speaks louder than anyone about the importance of being a trustee of the world we were given to live in.

For every person that sees this movie in the opening week, Disney will plant a tree in areas conservationists have identified as important “hot spots of biodiversity,” such as the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (which is one of the most endangered rain forest in the world). With only 7 percent of the original forest remaining, Disney is committed to ensuring the trees are planted and cared for to provide the greatest long term benefit for the planet.


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