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Written and Directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud
Narrated by Pierce Brosnan

Narrator: Down here, it’s like nature has given everything a try.

I’ve never been particularly fascinated with the vast bodies of water known as the planet’s oceans. Sit me in a movie theatre though and immerse me in one of those bodies on the big screen and I may as well be a fish, because I won’t want to get out of the water. Disney Nature’s second environmentally friendly documentary in their Earth Day series, entitled OCEANS, sets out to do just that – to take the viewer by the hand and guide them through these foreign, fantastical waters so that all who take the plunge, emerge knowing that much more about how it feels to be a fish these days.

OCEANS, like any Disney film, is interested in making sure that everyone who sees it is enjoying themselves. When that approach applies to a documentary, it means ensuring that every child that sits in those theatre seats is taken in enough by what they see, so that they sit still in those seats until the credits roll. To do this, directors, Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud – no strangers to nature films themselves, after collaborating on 2001’s WINGED MIGRATION, a documentary about migratory patterns – place the viewer in the mind of a child, focusing more on who lives in the ocean instead of the ocean itself. Why go on incessantly about oceanic statistics when you can simply just sit in wonder and awe of every unbelievable image you see unfold? Even narrator, Pierce Brosnan, speaks in a slow, soothing tone throughout, careful to balance the drifting attention of a child without insulting the intelligence of the adults who brought them.

Striking that balance can be tricky but Perrin and Cluzaud accomplish their goal nicely for most of the underwater journey. Disney broke away from the structure that worked for them in their first nature release, EARTH, where they repurposed footage from the BBC series, “Planet Earth”. With OCEANS though, they captured some of the same situations that “Planet Earth” did for their segment on oceans, but it is an all-new film this time out, allowing OCEANS to feel much fresher than EARTH ever did. It is also a great second topic to explore as the oceans themselves, especially the depths, provide so many fascinating creatures that most people have never seen and some people won’t even believe are real. Some of the focus is lost when the green agenda is raised about an hour into the film but fortunately more time is spent admiring overall instead of preaching.

These two kids behind me did not stop asking their very patient mother questions throughout the film. If my mom had been there, I too would have been tugging at her blouse, asking, “What’s that, Mommy? What’s that!?” Well, I would have if I were still 10. Anyway, at first I wondered if maybe all of this was lost on them, but then I realized that questions mean interest and these two definitely had questions. More importantly though, they also had some very good laughs at just how crazy nature really can be. And while they may be laughing now, they will likely one day be tugging at their mother once again as they inevitably find themselves staring out into an ocean.