Planet Earth: The Complete Series [HD DVD]
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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With an unprecedented production budget of $25 million, and from the makers of Blue Planet: Seas of Life, comes the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production, over 2,000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, shot entirely in high definition, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else.
As of its release in early 2007, Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. Following the similarly monumental achievement of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, this astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, shallow seas, seasonal forests, etc.) until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. The premiere episode, "From Pole to Pole," serves as a primer for things to come, placing the entire series in proper context and giving a general overview of what to expect from each individual episode. Without being overtly political, the series maintains a consistent and subtle emphasis on the urgent need for ongoing conservation, best illustrated by the plight of polar bears whose very behavior is changing (to accommodate life-threatening changes in their fast-melting habitat) in the wake of global warming--a phenomenon that this series appropriately presents as scientific fact. With this harsh reality as subtext, the series proceeds to accentuate the positive, delivering a seemingly endless variety of natural wonders, from the spectacular mating displays of New Guinea's various birds of paradise to a rare encounter with Siberia's nearly-extinct Amur Leopards, of which only 30 remain in the wild.
That's just a hint of the marvels on display. Accompanied by majestic orchestral scores by George Fenton, every episode is packed with images so beautiful or so forcefully impressive (and so perfectly photographed by the BBC's tenacious high-definition camera crews) that you'll be rendered speechless by the splendor of it all. You'll see a seal struggling to out-maneuver a Great White Shark; swimming macaques in the Ganges delta; massive flocks of snow geese numbering in the hundreds of thousands; an awesome night-vision sequence of lions attacking an elephant; the Colugo (or "flying lemur"--not really a lemur!) of the Philippines; a hunting alliance of fish and snakes on Indonesia's magnificent coral reef; the bioluminescent "vampire squid" of the deep oceans... these are just a few of countless highlights, masterfully filmed from every conceivable angle, with frequent use of super-slow-motion and amazing motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography, and narrated by Attenborough with his trademark combination of observational wit and informative authority. The result is a hugely entertaining series that doesn't flinch from the predatory realities of nature (death is a constant presence, without being off-putting).
At a time when the multiple threats of global warming should be obvious to all, let's give Sir David the last word, from the closing of Planet Earth's final episode: "We can now destroy or we can cherish--the choice is ours." --Jeff Shannon
Stills from Planet Earth (click for larger image)
- Original U.K. broadcast version narrated by David Attenborough, including 90 minutes not shown on the Discovery Channel
- High-definition 1080p
- HD DVD-30
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Top Customer Reviews
Narrator aside, planet earth is just simply a documentary that I cannot take my eyes off of. The cinematography is (in my opinion) completely unrivaled by any other nature series / shows I've seen. It puts to shame most of the work by Nat Geo, and animal planet, discovery channel, etc. It's just a visually breathtaking show to watch. Make sure and get this in 1080P and watch it on a very good TV. They did a fantastic job at really making the cinematography as perfect as it can be - do yourself a favor and watch it as it should be (in full 1080p, and in its full visual glory)!
I cannot say that I've been interested at all in watching any nature documentaries more than one time. This is the only one that I find to be so involving to watch, that I can watch it many times, and still feel a sense of awe at what the planet and mother nature does. While the structure some may not like (it's fairly whimsical), I like it. It switches from complex to simple, and turns things around, it keeps my attention.
As for the educational value, you get a bit of all kinds of ecosystems, from the deep seas, great plains, to the jungles, caves, etc. It's not a super deep look at everything, but the material is all quite interesting. They are separated by episode, see the list below:
- From Pole to Pole ( a bit of everything )
- Ice Worlds
- Great Plains
- Shallow Seas
- Seasonal Forests
- Ocean Deep
This is in my opinion - the best nature series there is. It's a treat to watch. Do yourself a favor and watch it without any distractions.
Okay, granted, I am a huge fan of Sir David Attenborough. I have all his books, just about all his documentaries, and I can't wait for the blu-ray versions of "Life of Mammals" and "Life of Birds". I'm terribly disappointed that "The Private Life of Plants" isn't available at all as of this writing, and I hope the BBC wakes up and remasters all Attenborough treasures in blu-ray to give them the treatment they deserve.
Reading other reviews and some of the comments, I have to add that I bought a blu-ray player just so I could get "Planet Earth", and I am now busily scouring Amazon.com for other top notch nature documentaries to add to this very special library.
I also have the regular DVD set, and I will keep it for its extras.
Sir David Attenborough, may you live another 100 years, since there is nobody else quite like you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!