EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY

★★★★

A VISUALLY SPECTACULAR, JOYFUL CELEBRATION OF LIFE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Charlie David Page
16th March 2018

BBC Films is the definitive production company for nature documentaries. They're the team responsible for David Attenborough's works, which encompass 'Planet Earth', 'The Blue Planet', 'Great Barrier Reef', 'Africa', 'Life' and 'Frozen Planet', just to name a few. Their style of filmmaking has constantly changed the way we view our world, with each series producing jaw-dropping visuals using groundbreaking technology to capture it. Spawning from the 2016 series 'Planet Earth II' comes the feature-length 'Earth: One Amazing Day' - and amazing is truly an understatement for what's in store.

Taking us through the events of our planet over the span of a day, the film has at its heart a much greater theme: the power of the sun to create life. We witness how birds greet it, reptiles are roused by it, plants grow with it, lions try to escape from it, and mayflies fleetingly play in its rays. Yet nature is a delicate system, and each day there is much at stake - giraffes fight for their territory, new-born marine iguanas must escape dozens of deadly racer snakes moments after hatching, the chinstrap penguins of Antarctica's Zavodovski Island must travel 80 kilometres every day to bring food back to their young chicks, and zebra mothers must protect their young foals from big cats and crocodiles.

'EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY' TRAILER

There are great wonders to be found, too. In the wildest parts of China, a young panda cub - one of just a few hundred in the world today - enjoys its bamboo shoots. Great bears rub hilariously against large trees to cool themselves and shed their winter coat. A harvest mouse hangs precariously on a bowing stalk in search of food. A three-toed sloth is awakened from his nap by the call of a female and dives into the sparkling blue water to search for her. And come night time, nature is illuminated by a large number of luminescent plants and insects.

There's no question that this is some of the most spectacular footage of our planet ever captured. Using a variety of techniques and cutting-edge equipment to bring this stunning 4K film to our screens, the production crew of 'Earth: One Amazing Day' in fact spent 142 days shooting to gather these intricate moments. Battling extreme temperatures, remote and rugged conditions, elusive creatures and completely unpredictable scenarios, the team behind this epic documentary have caught on camera some real marvels. Nothing seems a more perfect example of this than the sequences featuring the hummingbird. A creature no bigger than your thumb, the sharpness and clarity of the shots of this nimble bird in super-slow motion will have you questioning if it's actually real or animated.

This microcosmic miracle encapsulates some of the most spectacular scenes from 22 countries across the planet.

Depending on which version you might have seen, the previous film in the series, 'Earth', was most likely voiced by either Patrick Stewart or James Earl Jones. This time around, Robert Redford lends his deep, gravelly tones to the documentary. His work is very adequate, and captures admirably the moments of joy, humour and despair that we see. It is, however, strange to hear an American accent accompanying this work; it's a personal preference, but being so used to David Attenborough's deep, silky tones meant I was never completely comfortable with Redford's voice. Additionally, the level of detail in the writing for the narration seemed to be a little lacking - a little scarce on facts and focusing more on the telling of the story, it could have been a little more informative.

Despite these minor qualms, there's so much to be in awe about for 'Earth: One Amazing Day'. This microcosmic miracle encapsulates some of the most spectacular scenes from 22 countries across the planet. Although it might not have quite the educational or environmental impact of its predecessors, it's undoubtedly a superb look at worlds so far outside of our own. Take a walk on the wild side and enjoy this glimpse of wonderful whimsy, intense ferocity, and sheer beauty.

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