REVIEW / NATURE DOCUMENTARY
EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY (G)
94 minutes/Opens today/ 3.5 stars
The story: Camera crews from the BBC's wildlife documentary unit cross the globe to capture animals in their habitats over the course of a day, paying attention to habits that make them visually interesting. The crews cover the Arctic, the bamboo forests of Sichuan in China and the salt-drenched rocks of the Galapagos Islands to find footage.
If you think your morning commute is rough, consider the chinstrap penguin's daily trip. After the fathers go out to sea and return with gullets filled with food for hungry chicks, there is the task of finding the right address in the largest penguin colony in the world.
Two million birds make one cold South Atlantic island their home and poor dad must trek across it, squawking and looking for the right nest.
Gleaned from the best bits of various award-winning series produced by BBC Earth, this is a supercut aimed at those who want to get the most amount of awe, chuckles and thrills that animals can provide in the shortest amount of time.
The footage is uniformly excellent. Whether it is about lost penguins, roly-poly panda cubs making mischief or newly hatched marine iguanas running a gauntlet of snakes, the images are edited and scored like a movie. A bear rubbing its back against a tree in a comical way might have a cha-cha soundtrack, for example.
The kid-friendly G rating ensures there is no gore, not even scenes when prey and predator meet. Thousands of zebra ford a crocodile-infested river in a scene seen in countless documentaries, but it is still one that packs a terrifying punch.
But the many who search out YouTube clips of nature at its bloodiest - and there are millions who do - will find the lack of gore unsatisfying.
The script of actor Robert Redford, who narrates, sometimes makes him lay heavy stress on teachable moments, with statements about a mother's love, or grit and determination. That need to draw a movie-style narrative from animal behaviour gets annoying. The beautiful footage is good enough.