We hadn't seen any of the Disney Nature films before then, so we decided to start with the first one, earth. It doesn't have a capital letter for some reason, which I think is probably aesthetic. With or without the capital letter, it would probably be hard to keep track of anyway, unless you insist on calling it by its full title, "Disney Nature's Earth," or "Disney Nature Earth" or whatever it is (too lazy to Google it).
So anyway, we watched it! And it was visually stunning! Absolutely stunning! We were expecting stunning visuals, because it's a nature film, and the trailers indicated stunning visuals, and I think our brother-in-law is a fan of them precisely because the visuals are so stunning. But we did not expect the amazingly high level of stunning.
It was stunning. Visually. stunning.
Okay, okay, we get the point. So we were prepared for the visuals to take a little more priority than story...or whatever you would call the...non-visual elements of a nature film, because it's a nature film. It's not like you can give the animals a script and say, "Now do it just like this! Okay, that was great, now do it again...but better." (Although I do seem to remember reading somewhere about Disney's True Life Adventures that the filmmakers deliberately brought animals together in less-than-natural circumstances just to see what would happen.)
That being the case, we were still...let's just say stunned by the visuals. We were also stunned by the filmmakers apparent determination to show us baby animals' last moments before the predators got them. It was almost cute in the case of the wolf catching the baby caribou, because when the wolf got it, it just kind of tugged on its tail, so the caribou just sat down...and then they cut away so we never saw what happened. It was almost like the wolf was saying, "Tag! You're it." Or something.
But why did they even have to tell us about the baby elephant following its mom's footprints the wrong way!? I mean, we know they're not supposed to interfere with the wildlife, but that's just too depressing. Either help the poor little guy or don't tell us about it, for crying out loud!
We wished they would have let up on the time-lapse photography a little bit. Clouds moving fast is cool and all, but it would have been nice to see them moving at normal speed once or twice. Sometimes it felt like almost the whole thing was in time-lapse! Except for the baby animal killing, which of course was in slow motion. ...Okay, that's not fair. Sometimes they killed fully grown animals in slow motion. Okay, okay. Sometimes they killed baby animals in normal speed.
Okay, I'll stop now. Probably. What was a little confusing was the bit in the narration where James Earl Jones was talking about the cheetah killing the baby gazelle, and how it was the circle of life that so many of us have lost touch with. We're really not sure what the goal of that statement was. It sounded like the filmmakers think it's unfortunate that we've lost touch with the circle of life, but apparently the circle of life involves cheetahs killing baby gazelles, and while I'm not for cheetahs starving to death, I don't understand why I need to be so aware of them killing baby gazelles. So I guess my question is why is being out of touch with the circle of life a problem, and how do they propose we fix it? Or did they just put that line in there so they could use the phrase "circle of life"?
Anyway. The visuals were actually stunning enough to keep me entertained. Usually stunning visuals put me to sleep. Still, I don't know. We've seen one of the old True Life Adventures films fairly recently, and that was fun and light-hearted, but this one was kind of a downer. It tried to end on a happy note, but after all the downer-ness, it was like, "Shut up, movie. Too little, too late." And the music was very Dramatic throughout, enhancing the somberness of the multiple somber notes.
All in all, I think it's a great movie to watch for inspiration on doing artistic things involving nature and animals and stuff. But if I were to watch it for entertainment, I'd have to do it a little bit at a time. And maybe sometime we'll watch the part with the Aurora Australis in slow motion, so we can see what it looks like in real time.
Today I'm thankful for gorgeous shots of nature, having plenty of time to work on Higurashi today, being blessed with the opportunity to work on Love Hina (we're officially finished with it now), learning how to say "die of cute" in Japanese, and getting candy at Home Evening Group last night.