Bottom line: Oceans takes viewers from the ocean's surface to its depths and onto exotic shores for a glimpse of the wondrous creatures who inhabit the great waters. The movie offers a look at what is pristine and beautiful, as well as a look at the dangers earth's oceans face from pollution and other problems.MPAA Rating: G
Genre: True-Life Adventure
Runtime: Approx. 84 minutes
Guide Age Recommendation: All ages, but young kids are not likely to sit through the whole movie in a theater setting
Starring: Awesome ocean animals, narrated by Pierce Brosnan
Release Date: Earth Day – April 22, 2010
Oceans - Overview
In the opening moments of Oceans, we see wondrous footage of the ocean -- beautiful yet barren -- nothing but an immense pool of hard, salty water as far as the eye can see. Powerful waves crashing against the shores. Looking out at the vast ocean, it's hard to imagine the symphony of life teeming under the surface.
Then, the surface breaks. A school of bottlenose dolphins leap through the sea, putting on a marvelous acrobatic show that, while impressive to see, is not performed with the purpose of delighting any audience. All of their movements are in harmony with what's going on below. Big fish and little fish, and an astounding variety of nature's most curious creations, all perform their parts in a dance choreographed by some natural force beyond our understanding.
Humankind, with all of our wisdom and technology, could not create something so enormous, intricate and wild. Yet our technology has given us opportunity to study the ocean and it's extraordinary inhabitants, and it has given a lucky few the chance to become a part of their world, and to share that experience with the rest of us. As we watch these ocean experiences in awe, may our amazement and reverence translate into resolve and action. We too, must live in harmony with our ocean friends, as we work to preserve the pristine beauty of their world and ours.
Oceans - Guide Review for Parents
It goes without saying that real-life, up-close footage of amazing ocean animals is truly awesome. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this glimpse into a world most of us only dream about seeing, and Oceans delivers plenty of fascinating shots of sea life captured by those people for whom that dream has come true in a profound way. I am still baffled by the scene showing a diver swimming right up next to a great white shark, and I anxiously await the Oceans Blu-ray in hopes that the special features will contain in-depth documentaries about the filming of the movie.
While the amazing images of beautiful ocean creatures are smooth sailing, the story of Oceans is somewhat choppy. The narration bobs between sea creatures, locale, and themes without a really cohesive structure and with less educational information than I expected. Much of the narration is descriptive mixed with a philosophical statements and a few musings about evolution and the origins of life. "Life itself began in a splash of water, in a pulse of sunlight and color," Pierce states. Discussions of pollution or other dangers to the ocean habitat are thrown into the mix as well, but are fragmented and seem almost out of context. Other brilliant aspects of the film and footage hold the documentary together, but some narrative opportunity is lost in this film.
While the narration isn't as captivating as it could have been, kids and families will thoroughly enjoy seeing creatures from the exotic and unusual, like the blanket octopus, to the well-known and beloved, like the blue whale. Some scenes do depict animals eating each other. The most disturbing of these for kids will likely be the baby turtles. Hatching during the daytime is an unfortunate event for baby turtles, and the film shows a bunch of turtle babies crawl out of the ground and run like crazy for the sea as hoards of birds swoop down and scoop them up one by one.
Kids may also be disturbed by a scene that shows sea life swimming in the midst of trash and pollution. The sight is a sad one indeed, but there's no one better than kids to take up a cause like that and do something about it. The rising generation will have a positive impact on the earth, of this I am sure, and this film will have a positive impact on all who see it.
Oceans - Further Learning for Kids
- The Oceans website offers some great printable resources for parents and educators. The website also contains links to organizations involved in helping and preserving oceans.
- Do an ocean themed craft, like egg carton sea creatures, and help kids learn about the animals they create.
- Find books about your child's favorite sea animal or about the ocean in general. You can also help kids find information online from kid-oriented websites about the ocean and ocean conservation.