Giants of the Ocean
Review by Ross Anthony

Patrick Stewart narrates from a somewhat poet script, to often times poetic visuals, "With a heart as big as a small cow, arteries big enough for a child to crawl through and a voice that can be heard for at least 1000 miles, the blue whale is still illusive."

Music in the same stream as Enya flows across the audio as a great whale sleeps head down, tail up out of the water motionless, but awesome. A diver swims along side the blubbery mammals, fish-eye lens to fish eye.

Then a wonderful sprinkling of dolphins grace the ocean surface as the crew's sailboat breaks the waves. A camera high atop the mast captures a wonderful shot of dolphins swimming directly alongside the bow. Beautiful. Humpbacks sing their songs of solitude, which is nicely contrasted with a shot of the steel bow coming directly for us and the pipe of the ships horn.

Another gorgeous image pans the mirror-calm, ice-speckled waters of Alaska, the crew sailboat resting quietly amidst splendid white-topped mountains.

And then the amazing footage of whales in their bubble-netted feeding circles. An intelligent, teamwork effort that yields good eating for all involved (except the eaten). Btw, I suppose an argument could be made that the whales are using bubbles as a tool -- like Chimp's in Africa fishing for ants with twigs.

And then, well, the reel just ends. No warm wind up, or climax. Just credits. Still, a hearty host of aerial "Imaxy moments" and cozy whale images.

  • Whales. Copyright © 1996.
  • Narated by Patrick Stewart.
  • Directed by Al Giddings & David Clark.
  • Produced by Christopher Palmer & David Clark at Destination/Cinema Japan/SkyEast.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:53 PDT