Earth: One Amazing Day

Remember those A Day in the Life of… coffee table books that gave us glimpses of Hollywood and the Soviet Union and the like over a single 24-hour span? Imagine that same dynamic applied to some carefully selected, human-free locales across the globe, and you start to get the idea behind Earth: One Amazing Day. This sequel to the 2007 nature documentary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, revealing visions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen before. (Giraffe smack-down!) The single-rotation construct does help to unify the disparate proceedings, even if the voiceover sometimes tries a bit too hard to entertain us. production values on the movie (and the disc) are top-notch, with Dolby Vision high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos dimen- sional surround enhancing this 4K Ultra HD presentation. Long shots astound, serving up abundant detail at great distances. Herds of various animals are remarkably individualized, with a throng of monochromatic penguins truly popping within the 16:9 frame. Rolling hills show appreciable depth as they extend toward the horizon, while strands of fur, blades of grass, flitting insects, and stars in the heavens are all readily discernible. The colors of life are expectedly lush, and when sunset arrives they become achingly beautiful. The stark play of light and dark as El Sol makes its first appearance benefits from HDR, particularly the solid silhouettes and the nuances visible within a shadowy valley.

Referencing the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core of the Atmos track, the home theater teems with animals singing in happier moments and wailing when the going gets dicey. Effects are surely exaggerated for dramatic purposes and almost certainly added outright as well: A raging ocean brings low-end power, and rain and thunder fill the surrounds. This is simu- lated realism, in contrast to the scrupulous on-location photography. The movie's majestic orchestral score is mixed wide and with impeccable clarity. As One Amazing Day was produced in partnership with China—yielding some otherwise unattainable footage—a Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also provided, with narration by none other than Jackie Chan.

Extras are relatively sparse: a talky behind-the-scenes vignette plus brief featurettes that illuminate the making of five key segments. An HD Blu-ray of all of the above is provided as well.

Studio: BBC Earth Films, 2017
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos / TrueHD 7.1 core
Length: 94 mins.
MPAA Rating: G
Directors: Richard Dale, Lixin Fan, Peter Webber
Starring: Robert Redford, Jackie Chan, a bunch of animals