Big Miracle (2012) -vs- Free Willy (1993)

February 3, 2012 Nicole Marchesani

After sitting at home, wiping the tears off of my cheeks as a boy goes over and beyond to liberate a killer whale from its tank, and then sitting in a movie theater crying my eyes out over the giant rescue mission to save three whales from suffocating in the ice, I had to wonder why humans care so much about their seafaring brothers-in-mammaldom. Why was it so believable that these characters would go to such great lengths to protect some whales? And why did I use a whole box of tissues over it? Drew Barrymore’s character explains it this way in Big Miracle: “Even though they’re big and powerful, they’re so much like us. We’re vulnerable, and we get scared, and we need help sometimes too.” […]

African Cats (2011) -vs- Oceans (2010)

April 24, 2011 The FilmGuru

If Disney has learned anything over the years, it’s that lions are kings at the box office. So the House of Mouse has gone back to Africa this year to bring us a new documentary about the king of the beasts. But from a different point of view. Don’t expect to see any singing warthogs or meerkats. This is a true story of life on the Savannah.

A few years ago, The Walt Disney Company established a new film label called Disneynature — with a mission to distribute nature documentaries like the old “True-Life Adventures” back in the 1950s. In a stroke of marketing genius, they tied the film releases to coincide with Earth Day. The first, appropriately titled Earth, came out in 2009. The next year, they released Oceans. These films looked at our planet in a new way, and they examined our influence on our environment.

It has become a tradition with my family to celebrate Earth Day each year with an outing to the theater to see the latest Disneynature release. This year, we continued with African Cats, a film that examines the lives of the lions and cheetahs of the Kenyan wilderness. […]