Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex Lends Voice to “Elephant” Academy Award® Winner Natalie Portman Narrates “Dolphin Reef” April Earth Day-Themed Collection on Disney+ To Also Feature Titles From National Geographic and Disneynature
BURBANK, Calif. (March 26, 2020) – In recognition of Earth Month, Disney+ announced today the Disneynature film “Elephant,” narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, will premiere on April 3 alongside previously announced “Dolphin Reef,” with narration by Academy Award®-winning actress Natalie Portman. Following its theatrical release last year, the Disneynature film “Penguins” will also make it’s Disney+ debut on April 3.
The Earth Month collection on Disney+ will also contain additional Disneynature titles premiering on the service on April 3 including “In the Footsteps of Elephant,” “A Life on the Edge” and “Diving with Dolphins” which give viewers behind-the-scenes access into the unique filmmaking process of all three films.
These captivating films will join an already robust collection of animal and nature titles highlighted throughout the month including National Geographic’s “America’s National Parks,” “Wild Yellowstone,” “The Flood,” “JANE,” “Before the Floods,” “Planet of the Birds,” “Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures,” “Kingdom of the White Wolf,” “Tree Climbing Lions,” Hostile Planet” and “Wild Russia.”
Directed by Mark Linfield, co-directed by Vanessa Berlowitz and Alastair Fothergill, and produced by Mark Linfield, Vanessa Berlowitz and Roy Conli, “Elephant” follows African elephant Shani and her spirited son Jomo as their herd make an epic journey hundreds of miles across the vast Kalahari Desert. Led by their great matriarch, Gaia, the family faces brutal heat, dwindling resources and persistent predators, as they follow in their ancestor’s footsteps on a quest to reach a lush, green paradise.
In recognition of “Elephant,” Disneynature and the Disney Conservation Fund are supporting Elephants Without Borders, an organization working in Botswana to ensure people and elephants thrive. Elephants Without Borders is working on strategies to protect Botswana’s elephant haven, helping to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education, economic development, and solutions that either redirect elephant migration away from people, or provide communities with tools that help to protect themselves and their properties when elephants are nearby.
“Dolphin Reef” dives under the sea to frolic with some of the planet’s most engaging animals: dolphins. Created with Disneynature’s signature storytelling style, the film introduces Echo, a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin who can’t quite decide if it’s time to grow up and take on new responsibilities. Dolphin society is tricky, and the coral reef that Echo and his family call home depends on all of its inhabitants to keep it healthy. But Echo has a tough time resisting the many adventures the ocean has to offer. Keith Scholey, who directed Disneynature’s “Bears,” helms the film.
Disney has a long history of supporting oceans and marine life around the world. Grants from the Disney Conservation Fund and expertise from Disney Conservation Team Wildlife have helped leading conservation organizations and communities to establish coral nurseries to help to re-grow their damaged reefs, build fisheries that save fish and provide local job opportunities, rescue stranded dolphins, and inspire children to explore and protect coastlines, reefs and other marine habitats.
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. From The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.
The first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years, Disneynature was launched to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. All seven of Disneynature’s theatrical film releases – “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Chimpanzee,” “Bears,” “Monkey Kingdom” and “Born in China” – rank among the top 10 highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Chimpanzee” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Disneynature’s commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and the films empower the audience to help make a difference, with each film driving significant conservation outcomes, supporting wildlife featured in the films.