Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
What a great little cover and menu. We get beautiful scenes from the Blu-ray, that demonstrate the true brilliance of the high definition cinematography for DisneyNature’s Ocean release. I love the design and of course the beautiful blue cover. Of course it had to be blue, as it is a Blu-ray about the ocean, but come on, this is a great cover. It has a great “oomph” to it, especially the bottom shot of the massive shark in comparison to the seemingly tiny human. The cover is a true representation of the magnificent shots that are included in this release, which are simply stunning. The “living menu” is interactive, and includes information at various parts of the globe where you can click and get film notes and scenes. It is a nice change of pace, and should be used more.
- Living Menus – The menu is a kind of interactive map of the earth, and includes information about your location and time and date. I like this sort of interactive menu, as it is a big change from the drab regular menus.
- Filmmaker Annotations – The annotations from the French filmmakers is done in a picture-in-picture manner, which is decent.
- Make A Wave Music Video – This music video is just plain out of place, and while I sort of understand the Disney infatuation with including Disney teen stars doing music videos for some of their releases, a documentary is just not the place for it. This video includes Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas.
- Disney & Nature – This 8 minute extra discusses the Disney involvement in the earth’s conservation. A great message for kids and adults alike, but a short, strange presentation. The documentary goes into some of the littering that has occurred in the world’s oceans, and this is along those lines.
- DVD & Blu-Ray – It is nice to be given both versions of this documentary, but I can’t imagine watching this on regular DVD. The Blu-ray is simply too amazing to revert back to the old technology, unless you don’t have a Blu-ray machine.
The Movie: 8/10
DisneyNature’s Oceans Blu-ray is a loosely strung together compilation of the various animals and aspects that make up the blue oceans of our world. Presented in stunning high definition, and narrated by former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, the work by French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud is breathtaking. The scenes show everything from schools of dolphins and sea birds feasting on sardines, to the effect of pollution on our oceans. We are given glimpses of massive Whales as they sleep, and small crabs as they move across the ocean floor. There are shots of seals playing in the ocean, and both sharks and dolphins as they leap from the sea up into the air. The cinematography is stunning, and does a nice job of giving us glimpses of the creatures everyone knows and loves, along with strange unknown fish like the blanket octopus.
Pierce Brosnan is given some strange lines at times, but overall his presentation is spot on. The premise is to explain just what the ocean is, and while the only real way (according to the movie) is to experience the ocean first hand, it really is just a bunch of separate scenes that combine for a visually impressive documentary. I watched the documentary with my 5 year-old son, who was just as fascinated as I was at the creatures and plights of some of the animals. You actually laugh as a shrimp grabs sand out of his “house” and throws it on to his lawn, and as the baby sea turtles scoot across the sand trying desperately to make it to the alleged safety of the water, you really get emotional as the sea birds pick them off one-by-one for supper. Oceans is a stunner of a documentary, and one that really is easy to sit through, even though the premise is a bit weak overall.
Disney’s continued foray into nature documentary releases is solid, as they seem to put forth the same effort that they do in their animated releases. The presentation and execution are top notch, and I can’t wait to see more.
Audio & Video: 10/10
The video is simply stunning. The 1080p MPEG-4 is just short of perfect. This is a Blu-ray that you put on to show those few who don’t know about Blu-ray just how brilliant the images can be. If they still think this looks just like a standard DVD, they need to get their eyes checked. The colors and shots are sharp and bright, and the colors just simply pop. The audio is also amazing, as the sounds envelope you, and Peirce Brosnan’s even-keel voice is up front and razor sharp. This is just an amazing presentation.
I can see watching this a few times, just to see the amazing splendor that is the ocean. I am one of those that just loves the sea and the creatures that live there, and this to me is just a great little nature documentary. While the premise is weak, and the supposed story doesn’t really flow, the overall viewing is more than enjoyable. Just to see the wonders of the ocean in this high definition presentation is fun. While not for everyone, this is like the Planet Earth presentations that we have all come to know and love, and this DisneyNature release is on par with Planet Earth. It is a great viewing for kids and adults.
Overall Score 8/10