documentary

‘Blackfish’ an Eye-Opening Look at Orca Captivity

Editor’s Note: I have not been presented the opportunity to view Blackfish and urge you to consider both sides of the argument before drawing any conclusions. A good place to start is this NY Times article on SeaWorld Park’s and Entertainment‘s response to the movie and what it sees as distortions of the facts and message. I want to thank Mike Bastoli for continuing to post here on the blog; even when I’m not 100% comfortable with his topics, I’m glad I can provide a forum for his ideas.

Blackfish_SeaWorld_TilikumFirst of all, I’d like to thank John for giving me the opportunity to comment on Blackfish here. Even though we are of different opinions on whether orcas—killer whales—should continue to be kept in captivity at SeaWorld and places like it, we both agree that everyone should have an opportunity to evaluate the facts and make up their own mind on the issue. Really, we are the jury.

Blackfish begins with a black screen and a terrifying 911 call: “A whale has eaten one of the trainers,” the voice on the phone tells the dispatcher. That call was made on February 24, 2010, moments after SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, a 12,000-pound male orca who had taken human life twice before.

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Beyond the World’s Fair

The 1964 World’s Fair just had its 49th anniversary. It was very influential not just in the growth of Disneyland, but in Walt’s vision for EPCOT. After the Fair is a documentary that tracks not just what happened to some of the fair’s more iconic… Read More »Beyond the World’s Fair

Chimpanzee To Open on Earth Day

Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph.  Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest.

The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimpanzees, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimpanzees, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever.  Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“African Cats” and “Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“Earth”), and narrated by Tim Allen (ABC’s “Last Man Standing”), “Chimpanzee” swings into theaters on April 20, 2012, just in time for Earth Day.

Are you planning to make the next DisneyNature film Chimpanzee part of your Earth Day celebrations? It turns out the production involved more than just sending one guy with a camera out into the forest to film some wild animals. They sent a whole crew and boy did they have fun. Find ‘Fun Facts’ about the movie below the jump:

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Marceline – Walt’s Home Town Documentary

Andy and Sara Neitzert have produced what looks to be a charming documentary film chronicling the history and life of Walt Disney’s “hometown” Marceline. They’ve just released a trailer and I love how it focuses on the people, not just the place. There are still… Read More »Marceline – Walt’s Home Town Documentary

SeaWorld Pictures Presents Turtle: The Incredible Journey debuts in Orlando

Friday morning more than 150 kids from local Boys and Girls Clubs attended a private premiere of SeaWorld’s new movie, “Turtle: The Incredible Journey.” The 3D debut was held at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. For many of these children it was their first 3D film and a lot of fun was had by all.

As you can tell almost all the kids enjoyed the film. It definitely had a strong conservation message with much of the film focused on ways in which human encroachment on the turtles environment has threatened their chances of survival. But the overall message of the film is joyous and celebrates the ability of these turtles to survive enormous odds, 9 thousand miles, 26 years at sea, and return to the same beach to lay eggs again. Such is the wonder of nature.

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Turtle: The Incredible Journey – SeaWorld’s First Film will Premier in Orlando

When SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment was cleaved from the In-Bev/Anheuser-Busch mothership they immediately realized they could no longer rely on ‘Free Beer’ for their main brand identity. They would have to focus on Conservation. Instead of counting on free beer for word of mouth, they’ve adopted a formula that has been successful for their theme park competitors — integrate movies, tv, and other media into the brand.

SeaWorld’s first big venture along that current is a great tale of conservation befitting their new brand — “Turtle: The Incredible Journey”. Turtle follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatching to maturity and a return to its original Florida nesting grounds.

The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, has one of the longest and most difficult migratory patterns of any marine animal: Sea turtles newly hatched on the East Coast of the United States (usually in Florida) make their way from the sand into the ocean, and then begin a voyage that can span the entire Atlantic Ocean, only to return decades later to that same beach.

“This is a remarkable story crafted by one of the world’s most gifted documentary filmmakers,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Turtle: The Incredible Journey does what our parks have been doing for more than five decades: inspire, enrich and entertain. Helping bring this film and its powerful message of the fragility and beauty of our oceans to the public is what SeaWorld is and what we have always been about.”

National Geographic Explorer’s Nick Stringer directed Turtle, which SeaWorld Pictures calls a ‘Family Documentary.’ The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, and will be released to theaters in both standard theatrical formats as well as 3D in selected locations. The movie will premier Friday, June 24th in Orlando.

Turtle looks to follow in the big box office numbers of March of the Penguins, and judging by its trailer, it just might get there.

Check out the trailer below the jump and let us know what you think:

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