PLANET EARTH: SPECIAL EDITION
MOVIE: ***** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
“Planet Earth,” the series that really put the BBC nature productions on the global map gets a new release in a special edition. Available in both a limited edition collector’s package and a six-disc box set, the ten-hour miniseries gets a new Blu-ray coding and release. In addition to the brilliant coverage of life on our fragile planet, “Planet Earth: Special Edition” comes with multiple new special features, including seven hours of bonus content.
The episodes include “From Pole to Pole,” “Mountains,” “Fresh Water,” “Caves,” “Deserts,” “Ice Worlds,” “Great Plains,” “Jungles,” “Shallow Seas,” “Seasonal Forests” and “Ocean Deep.”
WHAT I LIKED
Ever since I’ve had a chance to start reviewing the content that comes from the entire BBC Earth series, I have been extremely impressed with the outcome. Even if you’ve seen these episodes in part before, as they have been edited into several different productions including Disneynature’s “Earth,” it’s worth it for the nature lover to take a look at the 10-hour series in total.
Shot on high definition and mastered in a computer, with no intermediate process to contribute to quality loss, the images in this series are breathtaking. Focusing on the non-human life on our planet, literally spanning the globe and covering every climate possible, this is an impressively comprehensive nature series.
It’s hard to pin down which episode would be the best, considering the BBC Earth crews capture the most powerful images for each one. Some of the shots in this series are once-in-a-lifetime chances, from a rare look at the snow leopard to diving with a school of piranha. BBC’s series gives a comprehensive look at the life on the globe, whether it be the high profile animals that everyone loves to the lower life forms and bottom feeders with unique aspects to their lives.
I have loved “Nature’s Most Amazing Events” on Blu-ray, as well as BBC’s “Life,” and this box set overdoes each of those. It gives more content than “Nature’s Most Amazing Events,” and it retains the David Attenborough narration rather than farming it out to a pop celebrity like Oprah in “Life.”
I urge anyone with a high-definition television and a Blu-ray player to take a look at this series, not just to have a great standard to compare all other Blu-rays to, but to bring a love of biology and life science to your household.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Nothing, really. This is a fantastic series.
This set comes with four new bonus programs: “Great Planet Earth Moments,” “Snow Leopard: Beyond the Myth,” “Secrets of the Maya Underworld” and “Elephant Nomads of the Namib Desert.” There’s also a sneak peek at the next BBC Earth adventure, “Frozen Planet.”
Additional features include producer commentary on select episodes, music-only viewing option, production video diaries and “Planet Earth: The Future.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Nature documentary junkies.