Running at just over 90
minutes, the Kingdom of the Blue Whale is a very surreal and amazing
journey about the lives of Californian blue whales as they travel to the
waters of Costa Rica. This National Geographic documentary follows a
group whale scientists and experts as they follow these gentle giants
via satellite navigation and unlock some of their secrets such as their
hidden breeding grounds.
Apart from breeding, the documentary goes into
some detail about their communication techniques, thanks to hydro
acoustic microphones as we hear the majestic whale songs.
Add in other
elements such as diet, migration patterns and this documentary covers a
wide variety of facets of the blue whales. The most noticeable aspect of
the Kingdom of the Blue Whale however is the mating rituals and calving
practices of the blue whale and thanks to some impressive
cinematography, it's almost like you are swimming with these creatures.
The film is well narrated by Tom Selleck (Magnum) who does add an
element of personality to the film and if you're a animal lover or an
activist for these creatures, than this is definitely a must watch
Blu-ray. The only drawback to the documentary is that at times, some
segments feel a little disjointed and dare I say, a little lacklustre
but for the majority of the time, it works quite well, especially with Selleck steering the ship.
With a video resolution of 1080i (1.78:1), VC-1 codec, the most
disappointing aspect of the Kingdom of the Blue Whale is the substandard
video and audio quality and considering that this is a Blu-ray release,
it's rather disappointing. As opposed to some other Blu-ray releases by
National Geographic, the entire documentary seems upscaled from DVD as
it is not as sharp or clear as many other Blu-ray discs. There is also a
bit of artifacting with the picture quality but thankfully the content
of the documentary more than makes up for this lacking feature. Audio
supports Dolby Digital 5.1 which is nothing exceptional and is
relatively clear throughout the entire presentation.
In the end,
Kingdom of the Blue Whale may be sailing into familiar waters but for the
majority, it is an exceptional journey about these relatively unknown
creatures and is very thought provoking!