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Walt Disney Studios has announced the launch of a new production banner called "Disneynature," which will produce major big screen nature documentaries.
The first movie to be released domestically will be Earth, from the same producer and director of the incredible Planet Earth series for the BBC and The Discovery Channel. It will be narrated by James Earl Jones and will be released in theaters on April 22, 2009 (Earth Day).
"We love balancing heritage and innovation and Disneynature is a perfect example of this. We are placing the legacy of Disney's 'True-Life Adventures' in the hands of great modern filmmakers using dazzling technology," said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. "Disneynature is a concept we look forward to building across the company and across the globe for years to come. And, we hope these films will contribute to a greater understanding and appreciation of the beauty and fragility of our natural world."
Other projects currently in development or production:
THE CRIMSON WING: Mystery of the Flamingos
Co-directed by Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward, and produced by Paul Webster (Kudos Pictures), this film will take viewers to the isolated shores of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania for a birds-eye view of the mysterious lives of flamingos. Worldwide roll-out begins December 2008.
Nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface is covered by oceans. French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud have set out to capture the full expanse of these waters that have played such a crucial and constant role in the history and sustenance of man. The deep and abundant oceans are places of great mysteries and dangers that this film will dare to explore. Domestic release 2010
ORANGUTANS: One Minute to Midnight
Directed by Charlie Hamilton James and produced by Frederic Fougea, this film tells the true story of a six-year-old male orangutan and his little sister, who must take an incredible journey to find a home and a family. Worldwide release 2010
Audiences will get to meet three mothers -- a lioness, a leopard and a cheetah -- as they explore their world on the great plains of Africa. Co-directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill and produced by Alix Tidmarsh, this film will show how these magnificent animals survive on their power and their cunning, while they protect and teach their cubs the ways of the wild. Worldwide release 2011
NAKED BEAUTY: A Love Story that Feeds the Earth
In this film, nature is ready for its close-up ... a very close-up, as exacting macro photography takes us to the realm of flowers and their pollinators. Acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg introduces us to a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly and a bumblebee, demonstrating their intricate interdependence and how life on earth depends on the success of these determined, diminutive creatures. Naked Beauty is produced by Blacklight Films and Alix Tidmarsh. Worldwide release 2011
Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield co-direct this intimate look at the world of chimpanzees, with Christophe Boesch, head of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, serving as principal consultant and Alix Tidmarsh as producer. To be shot over three years in the tropical jungles of the Ivory Coast and Uganda, Chimpanzee will help us better understand this exceptionally intelligent species. Worldwide release 2012
Source: The Walt Disney Studios Press Release
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