'Oceans' gets underwater and under your skin
Disneynatures’s new documentary “Oceans,” released Earth day, April 22, has grabbed the attention of audiences across the spectrum of ages: from the tots to the elderly, from those who are environmentally aware to those who are simply fascinated with the secrets of the ocean. But is it what they expected? Did Disneynature set an impossible-to-reach standard with last year’s “Earth?”
According to the Disney website, this never before seen footage, which took four strenuous years to collect “with the latest underwater technologies” by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, reveals answers that are not found in our school libraries or textbooks.
“You must see it for yourself,” says narrator Pierce Brosnan. “Hear it. Taste it. Feel its power. Live it.”
And so, in that light, “Oceans” takes you by the hand, leading you into the very depth of the sea to experience this majesty first-hand and explore the ocean’s unknown nature.
Opening with a single child in deep thought about the ocean and what it entails, the voice of Brosnan explains that it is not something that child can learn in a book, but that he must experience it. From there, Brosnan poetically explains the ocean and it’s many magnificent wonders, taking the viewers down into the deep for some insider’s footage.
For some a reminder, for some a guilt trip, “Oceans” subtly brings to attention the effects of pollution. But by bringing up the sensitive subject in passing, the movie fails to take a firm stance. Indirectly laying a sort of responsibility upon our shoulders for the effects of global warming for just a passing moment, “Oceans” does little else to draw you into the movie emotionally. Besides the sweet and nurturing love from a mother walrus to her baby, the movie lacks the captivating drama that last year’s “Earth” portrayed so well.
Though the film is informative and aesthetically pleasing, I did have a few peeves concerning “Oceans.” Besides the implications toward evolution and global warming, it was hardly stimulating. Because of the lack of story line, the flow of the movie was a little bit rocky, understandably so, abruptly moving from one animal to the next as Brosnan’s voice, poetic and soft, coaxed my eyes shut with each word he spoke.
Though “Oceans” is an okay choice for the whole family, I would be in no hurry to spend $10 a pop for what seemed like an elongated Discovery channel episode. I suggest being patient until it hits the cheap seats or comes out on DVD. I expected more from Disney and thought that although it revealed an amazing view and perspective of underwater life captured in unfathomable ways, I was a bit disappointed with the way it was presented and would have rather waited to see it in a less expensive fashion. Because of its G-rated material, informative nature and truly incredible footage, “Oceans” is better for kids than most movies out today. But unless you come with an idea of what the movie really is or a desire to be informed, the stimulation factor is lacking immensely.
If you do decide to splurge and spend those 10 bucks to watch it on the big screen or have already done it before knowing you splurged for a nap, do not despair. There is one upside. Partnering with Nature Conservancy, Disneynature is donating part of their ticket sales to preserving the coral reefs, giving back to the environment and has also helped to create marine reserves off the Bahamas.
“These are the equivalent of creating national parks,” said Dan Hahn, the executive producer of “Oceans” in an interview with Fanbolt.com. “You try to go out and create some land, and in this case a stretch of coral reefs that is protected and set aside for future generations, and just allowed to exist in its most beautiful form.”