“Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is a new half-hour animated short film debuting Friday April 17th on AppleTV+, just in time for Earth Day. It’s based on the book by Oliver Jeffers and stars Jacob Tremblay as the voice of 7-year-old Finn, who’s eager to know how things work. Finn’s parents are voiced by Chris O’Dowd and Ruth Negga.
They all visit an NYC museum on Earth Day. Finn’s mom and dad tell their son what they know about the big, grand, incredible world they live in. When they get to an old exhibit that takes them around a giant model of the globe, a narrator takes over. She’s voiced by Meryl Streep (who also bookends “Here We Are”).
The family goes on this special experience as they take-in all of Earth’s wonder, and viewers do they same while watching “Here We Are”. Co-writer and director Philip Hunt’s short is sincere, upbeat, gentle and surprisingly intimate. The animation is gorgeous, the voice work is strong, and the story, though simple, is quite warm.
“Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is perfect viewing for the entire family, as kids can learn about the planet in an engaging way, and parents can guide them along just like how it’s done in the short. This is a great teaching tool that doesn’t resort to preaching too much.
It’s unclear whether AppleTV+ will submit “Here We Are” for Best Animated Short Film Oscar and Annie Awards consideration. At approx. 36 minutes, it would be one of the longer entries in recent years, joining Academy Award nominees “Wallace & Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death” and the adult “Pear Cider and Cigarettes”. With the star-power and messages behind it, I hope we hear about “Here We Are” again later in the year.