Oceans, Blu-ray 2-Disc Combo Pack (2010)
Narrator: Pierce Brosnan
Studio: Walt Disney 104896 [10/19/10]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French & Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Living Menus, Filmmaker annotations, “Make a Wave” music video, “Disney & Nature: Preserving the World We Share,” “Deeper in the Ocean,” FastPlay, BD Live
Length: 84 minutes
Oceans continues Disney’s longtime tradition of excellent nature documentaries. The studio has always secured the very best nature cinematographers’ work and selected only their highest-quality footage. This time it is the work of two French filmmakers – Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, displayed in impressive superwidescreen and highest resolution, with helpful but not overdone (and not too-cute as sometimes occurred in the past) narration by Pierce Brosnan. The two filmmakers are well known for their impressive Winged Migration, which won a Best Documentary Oscar in 2003.
By purchasing this Blu-ray or the DVD equivalent thru October 25, viewers will help preserve the world’s oceans via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, which is establishing new marine-protected areas in the Bahamas with The Nature Conservancy. The protected area of vital coral reefs will expand from 300,000 acres to more than a million.
Oceans explores the unchartered depths of the deep, showing both the delightful splendors to be seen as well as some of the harsh realities in this amazing world. Various unusual fish and undersea life are shown in clear closeups in highest resolution. (Just as with scenes taking place in outer space, one has to realize that the provided sounds were added in post-production and are not realistic.) There are manatees, narwhals, dolphins, seals, walruses, sharks, penguins, and an amazing congregation of giant whales in Arctic waters. One of the most amazing sequences is the formation of the two giant armies of crabs near Australia, approaching one another and then fighting ferociously in an immense pileup. Also the scuba diver swimming alongside a friendly giant shark. Among the harsh realities are the tiny just-born sea turtles rushing across the sand of the beach to reach safety from marauding birds – only about one in a thousand makes it without being eaten on the way.
The underwater photography couldn’t be any better; there is almost no distortion or turbulence in the water and the clarity is often astounding. The music is beautifully synchronized to the action on the screen, supporting at different times an awesome mood or some humor. Towards the end the film emphasizes the sad fact of the desecration of the oceans mankind has committed in many areas, as well as the serious effects of global warming – such as the diminution of the ice caps. This makes the film a thoughtful and functional entity and not only glorious eye candy. Those PBS nature documentaries have become equally worthwhile viewing, but Oceans is higher definition on Blu-ray (1080 vs. 720) with even higher resolution in sonics (lossless surround vs. Dolby Stereo). Highly recommended!
– John Sunier