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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers get an inside look at life inside the International Space Station, seeing how the astronauts eat, sleep, exercise, and do their jobs. Also shows what all parts of the globe look like and what man has done to the environment. Looks beyond our galaxy to explore the idea that there might be a planet like ours somewhere else in the universe.
The message throughout is that it's our responsibility to take care of our planet. If we work together (like the astronauts on the International Space Station), some of the Earth's damage can be repaired. Challenges viewers to think about the consequences of human action -- from deforestation to dictatorship -- and to take action to do something positive. Promotes the importance of communication and teamwork between people from different nations.
Positive Role Models
The astronauts are incredible role models; the movie clearly illustrates the discipline, organization, and character it takes to live in space. The astronauts are all very kind and respectful to one another, communicating well and showing what can be achieved when countries work together.
Violence & Scariness
One astronaut struggles to get into his space suit to venture outside the space station; he talks about how he's attached by a cable that get tangled up and how one tiny hole in the suit could kill him. Potentially upsetting images of forests on fire, drought-ravaged land, melting glaciers, and the consequences of global warming.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Beautiful Planet is a stunning IMAX documentary (presented in 3-D when available) that takes viewers onto the International Space Station to get a glimpse of Earth from space. There's no shortage of incredible views, some of which are sobering -- including a massive typhoon in the South Pacific, the drought-stricken California landscape, and the melting Greenland ice sheet. Kids will learn about life on the space station (including a slightly tense sequence in which an astronaut struggles to get into his suit and talks about how even a tiny hole could kill him) and see humanity's huge impact on our planet, from deforestation to greenhouse gas emissions. The images (especially in IMAX scale) might be a little overwhelming for younger kids, but anyone interested in science, space, or the environment will be blown away, and the astronauts are great role models who demonstrate the importance of communication and cooperation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This incredible documentary features breathtaking views of Earth from the International Space Station. The astronauts spent their free time filming it, and what they captured is astonishing -- from the nighttime lights of Paris to the sparkling turquoise ocean of the Caribbean during the day. And it's not just that the images are beautiful and never-before-seen; Lawrence's vioce-over gives context to what we're seeing: a world that's changing at the hands of humanity. Dead forests, dry rivers, and melting glaciers are startling to see, and viewers are told how it could get worse. One of the most poignant contrasts is the difference between North and South Korea at night. South Korea is lit up and vibrant, while across the border the land is covered in darkness.
But it's not all dire. There are also stories of how the damage from climate change has been reversed, and the film encourages people to care more about the planet. We also get a real idea of what it's like to live on a space station. Italian astronaut Samantha Crisoforetti and the rest of the crew answer questions we all have about how astronauts eat, bathe, exercise, and sleep (Crisoforetti sleeps floating, not strapped to the wall) in space. We watch as an astronaut struggles to get into his space suit, then goes outside for maintenance, with only a cord keeping him attached. There's a lot to learn about and be fascinated by for both kids and parents in A Beautiful Planet.
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