The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

The Privileged Planet Review by Missica Pullen

DVD and Discussion & Study Guide
Idea Center
Illustra Media
1 (877) 436-0955
P.O. Box 636
La Mirada, CA 90637-0636
1 (858) 337-3529
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center
1480 Moraga Road, Suite I, PMB 241
Moraga, CA 94556

Have you ever sat in wonder while gazing up at the starry sky? Have you ever just sat there, looking at the millions of other stars, not unlike our own, and pondered on our little dot in the universe? Think about it for a moment. In the grand scheme of the universe, Earth is relatively close to the other planets in our solar system, especially Venus and Mars. Venus, with its atmosphere of carbon dioxide and clouds of sulfuric acid is much, much too hot for life.  Mars certainly is not much better with temperatures that can drop to nearly 200 below zero.  Yet here we have Earth, perfectly in the middle with perfect conditions for life as we know it. Some say it is sheer chance. Some claim that during the “Big Bang” all of the right things happened for Earth to form in the exact spot needed to provide the exact conditions needed for life. On the other hand, others maintain that the placement of Earth in our universe is no stroke of good luck, but a product of Intelligent Design.

The Privileged Planet is part of The Intelligent Design Collection, a 3 DVD collection that also includes Darwin’s Dilemma and Unlocking the Mystery of Life. This DVD set is currently priced at $22.45 or you can buy just this DVD for $11.99. It seeks to provide scientific evidence and proof of Intelligent Design, which is the theory that life, and even the universe, could not occur by chance. But rather, an intelligent entity acted with purpose to design and create.

The one hour long documentary, The Privileged Planet, shows us that Earth is more than just a random rock floating in space that just happened to develop life. Instead, we learn that there is total purpose for the planet’s placement. We learn about Earth’s ability to sustain itself and the life that inhabits the planet. In addition to that, a great deal of emphasis is placed on Earth’s placement. We are located in the “Goldilocks Zone” where the temperature and conditions are “just right.” In addition to that, Earth has a satellite (the moon) that is just the right size and located at just the right distance. As if that was not enough, we are protected by the other planets. Earth is not an accident, according to this DVD.

The study guide that accompanied this DVD for our review is a great in depth guide that works well to help you learn even more. It is broken into chapter groupings, and contains questions related to the film, as well as graphics. All answers are answered by watching the film. What I found most helpful is that each section has the time stamp of the film on it, so you do not have to watch it chapter by chapter, you can just keep an eye on the running time.

John Rhys-Davies provides the astounding narration. He does a beautiful job of keeping you captivated and enthralled. There are a variety of academically and scientifically minded individuals interviewed during this documentary that provide a great deal of credible insight into the topic at hand. The graphics are amazing. The film relies heavily on computer animated graphics, as well as actual photos. The graphics are stunning in quality and detail.

The Privileged Planet is a fantastic addition to any DVD collection. Brought to you by the same company who produced the likes of “Flight” and “Metamorphosis,” The Privileged Planet” features the same stunning beauty, great musical score, and wonderful editing. We have watched it over and over again, and each time we enjoy it just as much. I do wish the study guide had more for younger students, but there are plenty of questions for older students to use. This DVD and study guide would work very well with any astronomy study, especially for older students.

Overall, this DVD is really, really good and the study guide is a great addition. I think it is a great addition to any DVD collection, and especially good as an educational supplement. The graphics are superb, and you can never go wrong with the talent of John Rhys-Davies. I would definitely purchase this film and study guide, and I highly recommend it to others.

-Product review by Missica Pullen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016