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Review: Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Earth’ Explores A Whole New World You Never Knew Existed

“Welcome to Earth” is a six-part original series from National Geographic which premieres on Disney+ on December 8th. The visually stunning show follows two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets.

Executive produced by visionary Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”), Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios, Will is guided by elite explorers on an awe-inspiring journey, getting up close and personal with some of the most thrilling spectacles on the planet — from volcanoes that roar in silence to deserts that move beyond our perception to animal swarms with minds of their own.

The top-of-class adventurers leading Will through these incredible experiences include marine biologist and National Geographic Explorer Diva Amon, polar expeditionist Dwayne Fields, engineer and National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin, National Geographic Photographer Cristina Mittermeier, and mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer. Combining breathtaking cinematography with Will’s boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, the epic series is an exciting, multisensory ride through Earth’s most mind-bending portals.

You can read our review of the series below:

Descent Into Darkness

In this episode, Will descends over 3,000 feet to the bottom of the ocean in a plastic bubble to a world that’s barely been explored.  In fact, more people have been in space than in the deep ocean. So, what exists in total darkness? A strange sea cucumber that’s rightfully nicknamed the headless chicken monster and a beautiful, magical world of bioluminescent creatures who use light to communicate.  The episode also shows us a rainbow created by moonlight that remains hidden in the darkness, animals who put on a secret light show in our own backyards using colors we can’t see and cave dwelling creatures that are transparent with no eyes and only eat every 10 years.  Descend into the twilight zone with Will as he discovers there’s more light in the darkness.

The Silent Roar

In “The Silent Roar,” Will descends into the heart of an active volcano which he describes as looking into the gates of hell.  One of the loudest sounds ever recorded was made by a volcano and at times the distant sounds resemble crashing waves. One of the loudest animals on the planet is a sperm whale that uses clicks to communicate.  Each click is louder than a chain saw and relays one paragraph of information.  We learn one crucial thing about sound.  Sound doesn’t just travel through the air, it causes movement of the air.  You can feel it even if you can’t hear it.

Power of Scent

In this episode, Will explores the power of smell. Smell in the natural world doesn’t always mean food.  In nature, smells can be the difference between life and death.  From tiger sharks to sea turtles, to the “Wood Wide Web” in the forest, Will discovers that certain smells mean individual things to separate creatures and learns how smell drives each species in different ways.

Speed of Life

In this episode, we learn that everything is always moving at different speeds and sometimes the movement is so slow or fast that we don’t even know it’s happening.  With the help of explorer Albert Lin’s incredible photo technology, Will discovers everything that we’re missing in the hidden world of speed.  From stalagmites which are one of the slowest growing things on the planet to a lizard’s tongue which is one of the fastest movements in biology, we see everything is in constant motion at its own pace.  We only miss it because our brains simply are unable to process the action.

Mind of the Swarm

In “Mind of the Swarm,”  Will visits a wildebeests migration across the Serengeti and discovers their amazing survival strategy.  From afar it looks like thousands of brains are making one joint decision.  From honey bees to birds, to fish and even slime mold, many species use the swarm technique in order to survive.  How does such a massive group move together as one as if they’re all connected?  Will dives deep to find the answers of this magical and complex world.

Beyond Fear

The final episode “Beyond Fear” shows Will conquering his greatest fears and anxieties.  For his final journey, he is dropped by a helicopter in the middle of an Icelandic glacier and travels down a rough stretch of white-water rapids.  Will must use everything he’s learned from the previous episodes to overcome these challenges.  Along the way, he inspires us to get out of our own comfort zones and connect with the planet and realize that anything is possible.

“Welcome to Earth” features some of the most stunning visuals from the far ends of our planet and beyond.  The show is simply fascinating and Will Smith provides the biggest thought provoking insights along the way.  Nature and science lovers will become completely immersed in these hidden worlds that you never knew existed.  The series tackles the most mind boggling mysteries and is educational and entertaining at the same time.  Save this to watch on your biggest screen for the ultimate “wow factor.”  “Welcome to Earth” is an explorative journey for all ages.  All 6 episodes will stream on Disney+ on Wednesday, December 8th.

You can watch a trailer for the new series below:

“Welcome to Earth” is produced by Nutopia, Protozoa Pictures and Westbrook Studios for National Geographic. For Nutopia, Jane Root and Peter Lovering are executive producers, and Graham Booth co-executive produces and directs the series. For Protozoa, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel executive produce. Westbrook executive producers are Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter and Miguel Melendez. Matt Renner and Chris L. Kugelman serve as executive producers for National Geographic. The series’ music is composed by Daniel Pemberton (“Trial of The Chicago 7,” “Steve Jobs”).

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