The IMAX film Blue Planet offers an eloquent reminder--and a cautionary warning--that the planet Earth is a delicate living organism, constantly reshaped and rejuvenated by the awesome forces of nature. The film targets a grade-school audience but will prove informative to anyone fascinated by our home planet's evolution. Hurricanes, glaciers, volcanoes, thunderstorms, asteroid impacts, undersea furnace vents, and earthquakes are all explored as a system of interconnected forces that ensure the planet's survival. The difference between this and other nature films is that the Earth's delicacy is emphasized by stunning views from space, filmed in the IMAX format by NASA astronauts in orbit 200 miles above the Earth's surface. With astonishing clarity, this orbital perspective supports the film's ultimate purpose: to reveal the awesome beauty of the Earth, and to emphasize that we, the custodians of this miraculous gift, are also the greatest threat to the planet's delicate health. Proof of man's destructive influence offers a sobering reminder that our responsibility toward nature is perpetual, essential, and routinely abused.
Blue Planet combines state-of-the-art sound and image, principally directed by Ben Burtt, the Oscar-winning sound designer whose credits include the original Star Wars trilogy. No home-theater system could do full justice to the film's technical achievement, but the sights and sounds of Blue Planet are awesome nonetheless, and it's impossible to overstate the importance of the film's message and its hopeful emphasis on the potentially wondrous future of our one and only home. --Jeff Shannon