Oceans is a documentary about the world's five oceans and the mysteries that they contain. Using the latest underwater technology Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud have been able to capture never before seen images. Shot over four years this is not just a simple nature documentary but also a meditation on the dangers facing these animals and these environments, mainly posed by human involvement. The intention of the film is to entertain and educate at the same time and it has been incredibly successful, grossing over $100 million to date, yet while it has beautiful imagery it doesn't cover any new ground in terms of my understanding of environmental issues.
This documentary has been made by Disney Nature and like all productions from Disney it is aimed at children. This is exceedingly obvious from the very beginning of the film as we hear Pierce Brosnan's dulcet tones introducing the film in the style of a story book by using a young boy questioning what the ocean is as the impetus for the film. Oceans is setting out to inspire a new generation of environmentalists with a very simple yet effective message, that being that the oceans of the world are full of wonderful creatures and our actions will impact upon them negatively, if we aren't careful.
I say that the message is effective yet this is only true for young teenagers or tweens, it isn't aimed at adults.
Throughout the film the audience is offered frightening, depressing and upsetting elements of life in the ocean and things that we are doing that destroys the environment. For instance at one point we see a shopping trolley surrounded by rubbish as an animal noses its way through, looking for food. It is difficult to watch yet it only lasts for a moment or two and then moves onto something far more positive. This continuously happens and overall the film has a very positive feel to it with so many humorous and light-hearted moments.
This is the type of film that families will be able to go to together and then discuss the issues raised. I think the most effective part is that it humanises the animals so that a child would watch it and feel empathetic towards its plight while also enjoying watching the antics of these creatures. Overall it is a film with a very simple aim and because of this is it will be very effective for children. Adults who are interested in environmental issues won't learn very much from Oceans but because it is easy enough to watch taking children to go and see it won't be a chore.