The documentaries that Marbles Kids Museum screens at its IMAX theater make me want to do three things: See, do and explore.
I wanted to immediately plan a trip to some national parks after seeing "National Parks Adventure 3D." After seeing "Flight of the Butterflies," I was ready to book a flight to Mexico where the monarch butterflies migrate. Both those trips are now on my bucket list. And "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D" made my girls and I appreciate the creatures we've developed an affinity for.
That brings us to the latest documentary on Marbles' big screen: "A Beautiful Planet 3D." The G-rated movie, which runs less than 50 minutes, features amazing pictures of Earth from space. Many of them were filmed by astronauts on the International Space Station. The film was made in cooperation with NASA.
There are spectacular pictures. Flashes of light among the clouds - a sign of a thunderstorm. The blue waters of the Caribbean. The orange dessert sands in Africa. The icy Great Lakes.
And there are spectacular moments. The pure joy expressed in the face of Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian European astronaut, who plays a central role in the movie, as she boards the space station for the very first time. The view as astronauts tend to the outside of the space station when one wrong move could mean death. A Christmas celebration in space.
It's not all fun and games. Like many of the films at Marbles' IMAX, the film also comes with lessons about the impact our decisions have on life on this planet. You see California, dry from a long drought. There are pictures of the melting Greenland ice sheet. And, there's the stark border between South Korea, glimmering with the lights of its cities and towns, and North Korea, nearly black.
Kids will love this close up view of how astronauts live in space - from how they wash their hair and exercise to how they get their food and eat. It's a fascinating look at both space life and the life we lead here on Earth.
Tickets are between $6 and $7 for the movie. A combo ticket for both Marbles admission and the movie are between $9 and $10. Discounts are available for Marbles members. "A Beautiful Planet 3D" is scheduled to run at Marbles multiple times a day most days this week, several times next week and will continue beyond that.