In "Oceans," the latest documentary from Disneynature, we are treated to a first-class ride across and through Earth's five biggest bodies of water – and it's a trip well worth the fare.
All manner of squid, eel, whales and crustaceans populate the ocean floor. At one point a crazy mantis shrimp, which looks just like it sounds (like a shrimp got it on with a praying mantis), teaches a passing crab a lesson about trespassing by tearing off its arm. What happened to "get off my lawn"?
The centerpiece of the film has to be a massive battle between thousands of spider crabs in Australia's Melbourne Bay, which literally could be a scene from "Lord of the Rings" if the Elves were crabs and the Orcs were also crabs.
James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan, does a fine job narrating the piece, even when some of his lines occasionally border on the mocking, such as "Down here it's like nature has given everything a try," or "If you've seen one elderly Asian sheepshead wrasse, you've seen 'em all." Your momma, Pierce!
The filmmakers take underwater photography to the next level, using all at their disposal to put you front-row center at every turn. Using a specially propelled camera, glimpsed in the end credits, they get right in the middle of a school of dolphins as they charge through the sea. It's as gorgeous and thrilling as any car chase, for realsies.
Beyond pretty pictures, directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud reserve the third act of "Oceans" to cast light on the environmental impact of manmade pollution and fishing. Footage of the film's divers in close proximity to various marine life, including sharks, emphasizes a peaceful coexistence, and that we are not so unlike our underwater friends.
"Oceans" is a wonderful film with an ecological bent, and the Disney branding makes it perfect for the National Geographic set as well as the kiddies. Also, keep an eye out for an inexplicable scene with a pirate ship -- corporate synergy, anyone?
Extras! The Blu-ray package also comes with a standard DVD copy of the film. Aside from the "Living Menus" and Filmmaker Annotations on the Blu, both discs feature "Deeper in the Ocean" & "Disney & Nature" featurettes, along with the "Make A Wave" music video featuring Joe Jonas & Demi Lovato.
Also New Today from Disneynature: "Crimson Wing: The Mystery of the Flamingo"