I was just watching my copy of The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian when I saw a trailer for the first of the Disney Nature films Earth. It looks amazing just from the trailer and I am really excited to see what Disney makes of this division of the company. I did some research to give everyone a brief overview of what Disney Nature is doing and planning to do. Enjoy!
Disney veteran Jean-Francois Camilleri, who has served as senior vice president and general manager for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France will head the new unit. Disneynature will be based in France, where Camilleri and his team will oversee the initiation, development and acquisition of high quality feature projects.
Among the first films to be released domestically under the new label will be Earth, from award-winning British producer/director Alastair Fothergill, whose credits include the landmark Planet Earth series for the BBC and The Discovery Channel and The Blue Planet. Earth, produced by BBC Worldwide and Greenlight Media and co-directed by Mark Linfield, was released in cinemas internationally in 2007. It will premiere in the U.S. on Earth Day, April 22, 2009. Disneynature will also distribute the film in Latin America.
Disneynature announced in a press release that the film will be narrated by James Earl Jones, replacing Patrick Stewart who narrated the international version.
Among the other Disneynature projects currently in development or production are:
* The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos – Co-directed by Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward, and produced by Paul Webster (Kudos Pictures), this film will take viewers to mysterious lives of flamingos. Worldwide roll-out begins December 2008
* Oceans -- Nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans. French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud have set out to capture the full expanse of these waters that have played such a crucial and constant role in the history and sustenance of man. The deep and abundant oceans are places of great mysteries and dangers that this film will dare to explore. Domestic release 2010
* Orangutans: One Minute to Midnight – Directed by Charlie Hamilton James and produced by Frédéric Fougea, this film tells the true story of a six-year-old male orangutan and his little sister, who must take an incredible journey to find a home and a family. Worldwide release 2010
* Big Cats – Audiences will get to meet three mothers – a lioness, a leopard and a cheetah – as they explore their world on the great plains of Africa. Co-directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill and produced by Alix Tidmarsh, this film will show how these magnificent animals survive on their power and their cunning, while they protect and teach their cubs the ways of the wild. Worldwide release 2011
* Naked Beauty: A Love Story that Feeds the Earth – In this film, nature is ready for its close-up … a very close-up, as exacting macro photography takes us to the realm of flowers and their pollinators. Acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg introduces us to a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly and a bumblebee, demonstrating their intricate interdependence and how life on earth depends on the success of these determined, diminutive creatures. Naked Beauty is produced by Blacklight Films and Alix Tidmarsh. Worldwide release 2011
* Chimpanzee -- Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield co-direct this intimate look at the world of chimpanzees, with Christophe Boesch, head of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, serving as principal consultant and Alix Tidmarshas producer. To be shot over three years in the tropical jungles of the Ivory Coast and Uganda, Chimpanzee will help us better understand this exceptionally intelligent species. Worldwide release 2012.