May 6, 2010

Big Blue Watery Road

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Last Earth Day, Disney decided to premiere the first in a new collection of documentary films by Disney Nature — Disney Earth. The film was enough of a success to launch another Earth Day film, Disney Oceans, that would capture the beauty beneath the sea. The film was directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzard, both know for shooting nature documentaries  The film begins with reminding audiences of the childlike curiosity people have for the ocean. The movie opens with children running towards the ocean and one boy wondering what is beneath the sea — something we have all wondered. From that moment on, the film dove underneath the ocean, showing audiences wonders that you could never have imagined while riding the waves on the coast. Pierce Brosnan narrates the film, sounding as astute as ever. His voice is easy to listen to and enjoyable, however the lack of real passion in his voice made the film resemble the kind of film you might watch when your sixth grade science teacher is out sick. But unlike the videos substitutes used to play, this film was spectacularly filmed and produced, so Brosnan’s voice was pleasantly overshadowed. One particularly awe worthy aspect of the film was the ability of the camera to get exceptionally close to these animals and capture them in their natural habitats. The smallest features on the smallest animals were sharp and clear, such as the little legs on the starfish. The only negative part of the clarity was that it was almost confusing — as the details and the ability to project them on the screen could make it difficult to tell how small these animals really are. The largest whale in the film, the magnificent blue whale, was filmed next to a diver so the magnitude of the largest animal of the world (100 feet long) could be understood. The animals that were featured in Oceans benefited greatly from the high-tech cameras. These oceanic creatures were among the most unique fish in the entire world. One cannot even imagine how wide a variety of fish there are in the different parts of the world. Comparisons are made to the ocean being another universe, and to the fish being the aliens. Seeing some of these fish, ranging from strange to gorgeous (most notably the blanket octopus and the Spanish dancer fish), makes audiences wonder how they have shared a planet with them for this long without realizing their existence. Of course, more traditional ocean dwellers are prominent in the film such as sea otters, dolphins and starfish.Oceans effectively weaved stories into the film — which could have been overdone leaving the film feeling false or could have been missing, which would have left audiences with an aesthetically pleasing collection of fish, and no stimulating story. There are a few cute anecdotal fish stories that Brosnan narrates. For example, the symbiotic relationships between smaller fish and their larger counterparts (which involve the smaller fish cleaning the larger ones with no fear of being consumed) included well-placed and appropriate jokes that lightened the mood of the film. Appropriately so, the film contained necessary environmental arguments including the dangerous effect of run-off in the oceans from lakes and streams, the melting of the polar ice caps and hunting of endangered fish or harming innocent unwanted fish while hunting for others. Oceans could have come off overly preachy while delivering these messages, however the beauty of the oceans spoke for themselves. After an hour of watching the fish and marine mammals, the arguments resonated without much persuasion. Audiences will enjoy more than breathtaking images of creatures that most people would have never seen before; they will laugh and cry in the film, as the expert filmmakers somehow created empathy from the audiences with the marine creatures.

4 Towers

Original Author: Cara Sprunk