Earth: One Amazing Day review – low on science, big on wow

The level of enjoyment you’ll derive from Earth: One Amazing Day will depend on two things: how receptive you are to being blown to the back of the wall by eye-wateringly crisp HD images of animals in their habitat, and your response to having fart jokes soil otherwise tastefully executed nature documentaries.

A super-condensed version of the BBC series Planet Earth II, Earth: One Amazing Day serves up low-on-science, big-on-wow edutainment that’s ideal for younger audiences and viewers with shorter attention spans. It goes without saying that BBC’s technical work in this arena remains unparalleled, frequently leaving our jaws agape with footage that defies comprehension in how effortless it all looks. However, there’s also a nagging seen-it-all-before sensation that hangs over this 90-minute repackaging.

It probably doesn’t help that its most astonishing sequence — freshly hatched baby iguanas in the Galapagos pursued by an army of snakes — has already done the viral rounds in the past year. The pacier approach, eager to dart from one money shot to another, also doesn’t grant sufficient time to soak up and marvel at the magnificence of the exotic environs it surveys (by all means, watch this on the biggest screen possible if you can). Robert Redford’s narration is accessible for its American-everyman purposes, but Richard Attenborough’s refined, god-level diction is missed.

Earth: One Amazing Day is ultimately Disney fare, combining cute, cartoon-like vignettes, nail-biting, ruthless hunter-prey scenarios and eco-positive messaging into an optimistic invitation to love and save this unique, bloody beautiful planet of ours.

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