Directed by: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud
Released: May 26, 2011
Grade: B+

Last weekend, I slipped down to one of my favourite cinemas to check out Oceans, a new documentary that looks at a range of sea creatures and the curious world in which they inhabit.  I munched on my popcorn, sipped my coke and enjoyed the ride.  It was a great way to spend a relaxing Saturday morning.

To provide me with those 90 minutes of entertainment, directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (Travelling Birds) invested 7 years of their lives.  They ventured to some of the world’s most stunning locations and shot a total of 480 hours worth of footage.  It came as no surprise to learn that the editing process took almost a year.

My reaction throughout much of the movie was one of astonishment.  Oceans contains some of the most beautiful imagery ever seen in a feature-length documentary.  I kept thinking to myself – how did they get so close to these creatures and film things so clearly?  If this weren’t a documentary, I’d have sworn that several scenes were put together using special effects.

In trying to depict the life of these curious sea creatures, the filmmakers sought out areas that had been unaffected by over-fishing and pollution.  Their toughest assignment was trying to capture underwater footage of the blue whale feeding on krill (which apparently had never been done before).  It took “28 weeks of patience” and “thousands of failures” according to director Jacques Perrin but finally they got what they wanted.

The only problem with the film is the unnecessary narration track provided by Pierce Brosnan.  He rambles on with pointless commentary instead of letting the visuals do the talking.  Put simply, it’s a distraction.  Hopefully the DVD version will include an option to “switch off narration”.  It will also allow us to better appreciate Bruno Coulais’s score.

Containing everything from a shark nabbing its “lunch” to a female walrus nurturing its baby, Oceans is for people of all ages and is a fun, enlightening film to watch.