Forget about “Star Wars” and “Aliens” — there are creatures living beneath the waves on this very planet that are far weirder and more exotic than anything Hollywood has conjured up.
Huge, swooping creatures with bright speckles; shape transforming beasts that pounce and gobble up crabs; gelatinous monsters that glow; all this and more is captured in “Oceans,” from Disneynature.
The documentary is accompanied by a narration by Pierce Brosnan which sometimes gets overly flowery, but at its best adds an element of poetry to help young audiences understand that there is a larger significance to the images they are seeing. “Oceans” also offers a message of concern about pollution and the environment (appropriate for its Earth Day release). But the star of “Oceans” is clearly not the words but the pictures, and they are worth the price of admission many times over.
Scenes of the predatory side of ocean life are kept to a minimum, and are usually shot from a tasteful distance. There are cute moments — a sea otter floating on it back in the sunshine at Monterey bay keeps a rock on its stomach, to use in cracking open the shellfish it gobbles up– and tender moments– an ugly mother walrus sweetly nuzzles her even uglier baby walrus, or a mother seal coaxing her baby into the water for the first time. The cameras of directors/writers Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud do a good job of conveying the vast range of the ocean, by contrasting the powerful crashing of immense waves in a storm with quiet glimpses of delicate life forms suspended in the tranquil depths; they contrast huge whales with tiny one celled creatures.
Parents should know that the movie may be too long for squirmy younger children and there are a few scary-looking creatures and predators who eat other animals.
Family discussion: Which was your favorite creature? What can we do to help the oceans stay healthy? Visit a beach or an aquarium.
If you like this, try: “Earth” and “Finding Nemo”