Seven billion human beings live on this planet today. Yet for all of our vast collective knowledge, the ocean remains a largely uncharted territory. We rely on it for food, transportation, and minerals, but do we really understand it?
From the formation of earth’s ocean to future preservation, Planet Ocean, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, aims to shed a little light on our planet’s main waterways. Planet Ocean was the official cinematography winner at the Blue Ocean Film Festival. Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program, also presented it to the leaders of Rio+20 conference in June 2012.
Narrated by Josh Duhamel and directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, Planet Ocean is a visually stunning trip across the oceans. From the smallest plankton to the biggest whale, Planet Ocean’s cinematography makes you feel like you’re right there with the underwater camera crew.
Did you know that mackerel hibernate? Or that it takes a drop of water 1,000 years to complete its ocean current cycle? Planet Ocean is full of facts like this that even this former marine biologist wannabe didn’t know. It’s presented in a way that makes it interesting for adults and children alike, with a perfect balance of visual ocean action and dialogue.
One of my favorite segments of this move was about life on coral reefs, which provide some of the most colorful and unique scenes in nature. I paused the disc on this scene because there was just so much to look at, and I didn’t want to miss anything.
Mankind and the sea on film
Planet Ocean taught me that half the world’s population lives less than 100 km from the water. And, much like our early ancestors, we continue to rely on the sea to provide us with food, minerals, and other vital substances. So while Planet Ocean is entertaining, this movie shares a cautionary tale.
“Everything around us suffers from our existence,” narrates Josh Duhamel. This statement is followed by several haunting images of birds’ stomach contents. Plastic, trash, and other detritus filled the stomachs of these birds, causing them to die prematurely.
The thrill of Planet Ocean lies in the fact that it takes viewers on a journey to a place that most of us will never be able to see in person. The final on-screen message of Planet Ocean is “let’s act now.” As the documentary film suggests, perhaps the time for action has come, so that those lucky few who have a chance to explore the ocean are still safely able to enjoy its natural beauty for years to come.
Where to buy: Planet Ocean on DVD
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This is a guest post by Melanie Conrad. Universal Studios Home Entertainment supplied me with this Planet Earth blu-ray for review.