I love well-made documentary films about nature, animals, and the earth. If I see it in an IMAX theater, even better. There’s just something amazing about filmmakers capturing incredible moments on film that I will never get to see in my life: A close up of a mother polar bear and her cubs emerging from winter’s hibernation in the Arctic, an aerial shot of a herd of elephants making their epic migration to a watering hole, and a voyeuristic capturing of a stunningly beautiful Bird of Paradise performing his mating dance. I could watch the good films with the sound off and still love it.
Maybe that’s what I should have done when we recently watched Disney Nature Earth. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it had solid filmmaking and excellent photography (the myriad time-lapse shots were a delight). The narrative script left a whole lot to be desired, though. James Earl Jones provides commentary on the shots, focusing on a polar bear family, a whale migration, and a herd of elephants. What made it frustrating were the not-so-subtle overtones of global warming mixed with sentimentality (e.g. polar ice caps are melting, soon these poor cute polar bears won’t have anywhere to hunt) and the more subtle hints that humans are bad, evil, and unneccessary to the environment. What made it worse in my eyes is that it was geared toward kids.
Can’t Disney produce a nature film with families and kids in mind that isn’t riddled with leftish propaganda? I’m not a crazy right-winger saying that we shouldn’t even mention global warming, but I’m just asking for a well-made family film that isn’t overtly promoting certain policies. What about Christian filmmakers – can they produce quality mainstream stuff like this that isn’t overly sentimental, is realistic, has great photography, and is truthful?