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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is a short movie narrated by Meryl Streep and inspired by the children's book of the same name by Oliver Jeffers that illustrates Earth's natural wonders. The story evolves through the perspective of a curious young boy out on an adventure with his parents to celebrate Earth Day. When they wind up in a museum, the exhibits draw them into amazing explorations of the planet’s wonders. The story encourages viewers' respect for the Earth and its natural diversity, hinting at conservation and similar issues. Additionally, the movie celebrates the relationships that exist in a family and the role of parents as their children's first and best teachers.
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What's the story?
In HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH, as a beautiful Earth Day dawns, Finn’s (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) parents (Chris O’Dowd and Ruth Negga) plan a day in the great outdoors to celebrate it with their son. But all the 7-year-old can think about is visiting the Museum of Everything instead. After a boating expedition and picnic lunch in the park, he suggests a bike ride that serendipitously takes them right to the front steps of that very museum. As Finn and his parents explore the wonders inside, they learn about the magnificent planet Earth and its awesome natural diversity.
Is it any good?
This charming story is a joyful way for families to honor the planet’s many gifts on Earth Day especially, but its messages resonate year round. In Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, we first meet Finn as a newborn fresh home from the hospital, as his father begins his instruction about the world and Finn’s place in it. Fast forward seven years, and an insatiably curious Finn continues to be a sponge for knowledge, flanked by his parents who encourage his desire to learn. Their adventures together remind viewers of the simple joys of being together and learning new things.
Here We Are is filled with basic truths: the oceans are deep, the sky is expansive, the human body is miraculous, and nature’s wonders are endless. Without hitting you over the head with preachy messages, the story inspires respect for the planet’s fragility and humans’ role in preserving and protecting it, all the way down to 7-year-old Finn’s self. As viewers receive the lesson through Finn’s wide eyes and childlike innocence, it takes on a fresh and personal meaning that really hits home.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about nature and why it needs protecting. What does it mean for a species or a habitat to be endangered? What factors might contribute to this happening? How can people help in conservation efforts in small ways at home and in their communities?
Kids: Can you relate to Finn’s constant desire to learn in Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth? How does it feel to learn something new that was difficult at first? In what ways does learning take perseverance and determination?
Finn has a lot of fun with his family on this Earth Day. What are some special traditions your family has for holidays? How do you have fun together on an everyday basis? What is your favorite quality about your family?
- Premiere date: April 17, 2020
- Cast: Meryl Streep, Jacob Tremblay, Chris O'Dowd, Ruth Negga
- Network: Apple TV+
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Book Characters, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: June 4, 2020
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