Thoughts on Disneynature’s ‘Oceans’

Tomorrow is Earth Day 2010, opening day for Oceans, the second picture released in North America under the Disneynature banner. The documentary is directed by French filmmakers Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud and features never-before-seen views of the world’s oceans captured using the ‘latest in underwater recording technologies’. Narration is provided by an elderly-sounding Pierce Brosnan.

Last Thursday, I had the chance to attend a screening of Oceans in Toronto. I enjoyed it, but not as much as Disneynature’s first release, last year’s Earth. (I plan to re-watch Earth on Blu-ray soon.)

Oceans is a fine documentary, probably the best thing playing at your local movie theatre this weekend. There are many breathtaking scenes in the film; some curious, humorous ones too. One of the most emotional involves baby turtles —and who doesn’t love baby turtles?

But I was hoping for —scratch that— expecting a more contemporary nature documentary than what Oceans delivers. For the most part, the film is about as traditional and old fashioned as it gets. In multiple areas, from the editing and narration to the heavy grain visible throughout (not just underwater scenes), it seems like a documentary that could have been made years ago.

Nevertheless, Oceans is well worth the price of admission. Adults and kids alike will surely be entertained watching, on the big screen, some of the many strange, fascinating creatures that live in this planet’s seas.