One of the biggest treats of this past holiday was to be able to spend time with my close and extended family. To just laze around, eating, chatting and watching movies was so desperately needed after a long and pretty exhausting 2008. One of the most wonderful DVD sets called “Planet Earth” was oddly enough the very thing that bought the family together every evening. Rather than watch the news, with that constant chatter of doom and gloom or the usual holiday movies that everyone argues over, my husband and I decided to find something that all could enjoy. We were given the Box set of “Planet Earth” as a gift so decided to give it a try. I was worried that my seven-year old would get bored or that my father in law would doze off, but both were absolutely riveted. My daughter was thrilled to be able to see the whales, sharks and crocodiles that she has only seen in books or pictures of sea world, and surprisingly didn’t bat an eyelid at the startling speed with which these magnificent animals gobble up their prey. The wonder of this series is that it hides nothing – you get to see the law of the jungle in all its terrifying magnificence. You get to see creatures that you never knew existed. Whether you are interested in flowers, reptiles, mountains or deserts, there is something in this series for everyone and you cannot help but be deeply affected by it. I highly recommend this set for children of most ages, as it educates then in a way that a sea park or zoo could never do. The cinematographers have clearly spent months in the wilderness capturing rare and fascinating footage of animals in their natural environment. After seeing this, it would break my heart to have to look at any animal in captivity. Planet Earth brilliantly illustrates the laws of nature and that everything happens exactly has it is supposed to. More than anything, watching this series gave me a deep sense of humility and awe at the intelligence and beauty of nature and this planet.
BBC’s Planet Earth 5-DVD set is available from www.amazon.com