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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 21, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Disney captures beauty of ocean

Walt Disney’s “Oceans” uncovers the wonder beneath the sea in a visually stunning film that fails to hold the audience’s attention beyond its pretty pictures.

The film gives a small glimpse of the life that dwells in the sea, following multiple animals’ activities from eating habits to migratory behavior to social interactions.

“Oceans” is an incredible feat. From the close-up shots of eels to the swarms of sharks, birds and whales feasting on small fish, there is no shortage of breathtaking visuals in this film. And once the audience realizes how dangerous it must have been to get these shots, the images stand out even more.

But the wonder of the film stops with these dazzling scenes. Following the revolutionary series “Planet Earth,” “Oceans” fails to stand out as anything more than a series of beautiful pictures. Unlike the past series, this film reveals no incredible new information about animal life. Instead, it merely regurgitates the same information that can be learned in any high school biology class.

The film also deviates in short bursts of cautionary messages about the state of the world’s oceans and the environment. These messages are so quick, such as the lines about the polar ice caps melting, that they seem random.

Pierce Brosnan narrates the film with his cool, soothing British accent. Though the script is, at times, overly dramatic, such as in the opening scenes when he explains the wonder of the ocean, Brosnan manages to make the script sound intelligent and innovative.

The film’s action and story, though, are largely driven by the classical soundtrack. It is an effectual way of creating a story without words. This was most effectively used in the scene when crabs were facing off on the ocean floor. Hard drumbeats played while the crabs climbed and bashed each other, animating a story without a need for words.

When the final credits roll, shots of how this film was captured appear on the screen. Fearless scuba divers swim alongside sharks and whales, showing the dedication of the videographers. The beautiful animal scenes of baby turtles and feisty crabs may not be revolutionary, but they are incredible all the same.

“Oceans” was co-written and co-directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud.