"Polar Bear" tells the story of a family of bears who face increasingly tough challenges due to how the changes in climate have affected their habitat. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson shot the film over three years in the ice cold Arctic.
"It's so far north that for six months out of the year it's totally dark. But for six months of the year it's almost totally continuous 24-hour sunlight," Fothergill said. "So during that summer from the moment the sun rose until it set we were working pretty much continuously."
The directors say they would not have been able to make this film 10 years ago, but advances in technology, including drones, allowed them and members of their team to get closer than ever to the bears.
"It would be very easy for us to muck up their hunt simply by being too noisy or too close, but the lenses and the technology allows us to witness from a safe distance away not to disturb," Wilson said.
The film has several awe-inspiring moments, thanks to the beloved bears and Mother Nature. But the environmentalists hope their film inspires us to pay attention sooner rather than later.
"The reason we wanted to make the film is people talk a lot about climate change but it's hard to show it," said Fothergill. "In this film, through the eyes of our female bear you certainly see it. And I think Earth Day is a very good time to question. You should question your own footprint on the planet, your own use of energy, as individuals we can do an enormous amount."
"Polar Bear" premieres Friday on Earth Day on Disney+.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Disney+ and this ABC station.