I saw the new Disney movie, Earth, this past summer. The fact that it was Disney should have been my first clue. Does the name Bambi ring a bell? But if you know me at all, then you know that I am not good with clues and I have a bad memory. Did I learn nothing from March of the Penguins? In my defense, the previews did not give any indication as to the nature (please forgive the pun) of this movie, nor did its G rating. And so I didn’t give it a second thought when our friends asked us to join them for dinner and a movie. About twenty minutes in I realized that this was not going to be a walk in the park. Animals were going to die. Animals were going to die and they were going to die in slow motion hunting sequences. Baby elephants were to be separated from their mothers in the desert and they were going to walk for miles in the wrong direction before dying of hunger. Polar bears were going to be referred to as mom and dad, their babies were going to be called their kids. And one day Mr. Polar Bear was going go off to work and never come home. And I was going to have a front row seat for dad’s demise. While I was eating my popcorn Mr. Polar Bear was going to try without success to eat a walrus. He was only going to do this, the narrator reminded us on several occasions because he was DESPERATE. While I was sipping my diet soda Mr. Polar Bear was going to swim forever until he was EXHAUSTED. Then he was going to die right next to the walrus that he had previously tried to eat because he was DESPERATE and EXHASUSTED. And, in case I hadn’t heard yet, Mr. Polar Bear and many of friends were going to die because of me and my friends and global warming.
Of course the movie ended on an up note, which is so “Disney”. But it was lost on me. I left with that familiar feeling. The same feeling I had after seeing March of the Penguins. The feeling that nature sucks. The feeling that the Buddhists of world are right, that being born human is a precious thing. Now, I know some humans who would beg to differ, but at least we humans have a chance to turn things around. And when we’re in big trouble, like maybe we’re addicted to drugs, or we’re depressed or we’ve just lost our job, or we’re just headed in the wrong direction, other people will sometimes step in and help, rather than stand there photographing us while we die a slow and agonizing death next to a herd (is that what their called?) of tusk wielding animals twice our size.