Another nature doco hits 4K, bringing the joys of Earth from sunrise to sunset to our screens. So, how does the BBC’s Earth: One Amazing Day fare on 4K Ultra HD? Does it scratch the nature lover’s itch, or does it bite?
The story: The BBC are leaders in capturing simply astonishing nature footage, and with tech where it is now they’ve been able to catch it with more clarity than ever before. This movie-length feature – narrated by Robert Redford in the English version, Jackie Chan in Mandarin – uses the conceit of following one day on Earth from the sun’s first peek-a-boo to well after it says nighty-night for the day. We head all around the world, dropping by creatures as varied as pandas, snakes, penguins, sloths and whales, and seeing what they get up to when they don’t think they’re being watched – although one panda appears to be onto those BBC people. Watch giraffes go at it, see plucky iguanas escape snakes, check out a bear having a good old back scratch then letting rip a monstrous botty burp – yay nature! It all holds together well, with the only caveat being that parts of the footage will be familiar to those who have seen/own Planet Earth II.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The 4K disc: We’re not particularly brave (or foolhardy), so we’d pass on seeing most anything here up this close in real life. But 4K really gives us the next best thing, and without risking having our faces torn off! Presented in pure 4K, Earth: One Amazing Day is a delight to watch, with some scenes almost eliciting gasps at their brilliance. Bolstered by HDR (or Dolby Vision if you have the supporting equipment), it sits beside Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II as one of the most stunning demo discs for the format. Unlike those TV documentaries, however, this one packs a full-on Dolby Atmos track (English only – the Mandarin version is in Dolby Digital 5.1). The majestic score fills the room, as do the many sounds of nature (and a few we reckon they added in for effect). Seriously, you will have never have heard a bear fart sound so grand! Meanwhile, six short featurettes are included on the 4K disc, although they’re only in 1080p.
Release date: March 28, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Robert Redford, Jackie Chan, Earth
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.