"A sperm whale lies stranded close to death. To look at him now, it's hard to imagine what an extraordinary life he's led. This is the largest predator the world has ever seen. His home is the abyss. He's spent most of his life at a staggering 2 kilometers [about 1 1/4 miles] beneath the [ocean's] waves, only surfacing to breath.
Our technology has given us the briefest glimpse of [the ocean's] alien landscape. But what if we could see it as [the sperm whale] sees it? It would be like turning on the lights in a world of external darkness. Down here, mountains rise higher than [Mt.] Everest, ravines run deeper than the Grand Canyon, and the creatures are more monstrous than anything found on land.
This film lights up the deep. It tells the story of one whale's 80-year journey from calf to King of the Abyss.
Welcome to the ultimate ocean odyssey!"
This is how the first episode (1 hr., 8 scenes) of this mesmerizing two-episode documentary begins. Both episodes are narrated by actor Bernard Hill, whose deep voice adds a mysteriousness to the film.
And what a two-episode film it is!! The viewer gets to see strange underwater sea creatures such as giant squids, colossal squids (the "beasts of sailor's legends"), bioluminescent creatures, Orcas (killer whales), and Tube Worms. We see battles the sperm whale has with its predators and with other sperm whales. Perhaps, the most interesting is that we get to see the ocean bottom or marinescape, truly an "alien landscape" with its "Lost City," its ridges of volcanic mountains, its "Curtain of Fire," and its steaming underwater vents (that provide energy without sunlight).
Episode two (1 hr., 8 scenes) continues where episode one left off but this time with the sperm whale all grown up and "ready to travel further and dive deeper than any other creature on Earth, facing new dangers in an ocean that [humans] are changing."
The computer animation is fantastic. You can't tell the images are computer generated. Besides computer animation, there's life-action footage and historical real-life footage. Besides being entertained, you'll also learn a lot since recent scientific information is presented.
Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2006) is perfect in picture and sound quality. There are no extras.
In conclusion, this is an unforgettable film, both entertaining and educational, that made a "big splash" with me. Sadly, "by 1969, we knew more about the lifeless surface of the moon than we did about the deep oceans of our own planet." This is still the case. This film changes that. In fact,
"This is the closest you'll get to seeing what lies thousands of feet below the ocean's surface!!"
(2004; 2 hr.; made for TV (BBC); wide screen; 16 scenes)
<<Stephen Pletko or "Uncle Stevie, London, Ontario, Canada>>