Oceans Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud

Oceans Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud
Unlike last year's Earth Day release from Disney, Earth, which was a mishmash of images from the Planet Earth series, Oceans is comprised of new footage filmed over the last four years by the team that brought us Winged Migration back in 2001. Similarly, most of the appeal comes from taking the audience places we can't go, appealing to our imagination and exploring the wonders beneath the surface of waters that cover roughly 70-percent of the globe.

Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, this documentary opens with the question: "What exactly is the Ocean?" An image of a boy looking beyond a barrier to the vast sea introduces us to the world beneath, which is then examined from the shark-infested coves of South Africa to Orca feeding grounds in Alaska. While it would seem these explorations are more of the same, with television documentaries detailing marine wildlife and human pollution, the clarity of images and juxtaposed lyricism define Oceans as a cinematic experience.

Even though there is nothing necessarily new, as the doc merely points out the fragility of ecosystems, with baby turtles devoured by swooping birds and thousands of orange krill engulfed in a single bite from a whale, an intended vision of the circle of life becomes clear. Add to it images of plastic pollutants and satellite footage of toxins travelling down populated rivers into the ocean, and a greater understanding of our impact unfolds.

These images, filmed with state-of-the-art cameras, occasionally operated via remote control, or dragged behind speed boats, create a poem that may be broken up with preachy fancies, but communicate exactly what was intended: the mystery, beauty and delicate nature of an unknown world that we directly affect. (Buena Vista)