Netflix Review: Netflix’s Our Planet is Essential Viewing

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The earth we live upon is a very special place, full of precious life and wonders and Netflix’s new nature series “Our Planet” makes that crystal clear.

The earth we live upon is a very special place, full of precious life and wonders that need care and respect, and Netflix’s new nature series “Our Planet” makes that crystal clear. It follows in the traditional line of the BBC’s acclaimed nature documentaries like Planet Earth, The Blue Planet, and Frozen Planet, but this one might just be the best and most important endeavor yet.

The comforting sound of David Attenborough’s narration is back again here (He’s the greatest, isn’t he?), and the 4-years-in-the-making, 600 crew member produced, 8-part series spans across the entire globe — from grasslands and frozen worlds to jungles and deserts to fresh water rivers and lakes and to the high and coastal seas. We get a front row seat of rainforest birds showcasing their elaborate and theatrical mating dances, we get to follow the sneaky charisma of a cheetah, observe cuddly penguins sheltering their young, see comical orangutans interact with each other, watch dolphins spring up and perform sidewinding twists as if they’re part of some grand ocean surface symphony, witness the rare and haunting images of bioluminescent fish that dwell in the deep uncharted seas - and much, much more. The scale and cinematography is absolutely stunning, and the vivid and vibrant scenery of wildlife and natural wonders and creatures from all different habitats is so beautiful and breathtaking — to the point where you might find yourself asking: How in the world did they capture this footage? Often times, it even brought tears to my eyes.

And for as gorgeous and as lively as the views are, there’s a significantly different tone this time around — a more somber, stark, and sobering one. Our Planet conveys crucial and urgent messages when it comes to the disheartening changes that are taking place in our world — including the disappearances of rainforest areas, the melting of arctic glaciers, and the major threats to so many endangered species of animals, and how it all greatly impacts each and every one of us even if we don’t fully realize it. Everything in this sprawling environment is connected and interdependent. And it’s one thing to read or hear about these worldly issues, but it’s another thing to actually see it in all its staggering scope, and Our Planet is extremely effective at opening our eyes.

But it isn’t all completely bleak. With more awareness and education comes positive change and paramount responsibly in the face of a looming crisis that can’t just be ignored. Conversation and conservation are key, and we can all do our part to help move things in the right direction and to make sure that both humans and wildlife thrive in the future. In the end, Our Planet ultimately shows that where there is beauty and nature, there is hope.

Our Planet is currently streaming on Netflix. Also, be sure to check out the bonus behind-the-scenes episode for a great look into how this series was made.