Do you know what lies at the bottom of the ocean? From the makers of the Walking With... series comes an enthralling exploration of Earth's final frontier seen through the eyes of its greatest inhabitant and the worlds lar... more »gest predator, the sperm whale. Following a young male from infancy to old age, the marinescape comes vividly to life: the impossibly deep canyons, the underwater volcanoes, and the spectacular mountain ranges. The inhabitants of opaque depths are no less impressive ? black dragonfish that cast an eerie red glow, jellyfish shaped like giant footballs ? but the whale is only interested in one creature, the colossal squid. When the two meet, it is the ocean's ultimate battle.« less
"If you like the "Walking With" series, you'll love Ocean Odyssey. But for someone like me who hasn't seen a "Walking With" and doesn't feel particularly motivated to glory in the gigantic extinct saurians or their hairy, club-wielding mammal conquerors, well, Ocean Odyssey blew me away.
This world is not extinct and millennias old. This world is not light years away. This world is right here, right now: the highest mountains in the world, the most volatile volcanic activity, and creatures larger than brontosauruses and Tyrannosaures Rex. Squids three times longer than your car fight sperm whales bigger than your upstairs rooms. Animals whom we see only as skeletons in the museum or glistening, air-blowing humps are brought to life in 3-D. Their dark underwater world is lit up for our depressingly human eyes by the imagined view of an animal with powerful sonar. The sperm whale sees thousands of feet ahead through the murky waters where light doesn't reach, and the plant life and wildlife survive on the heat only from the core's molten activity.
The epic tale, a true odyssey, is told in two segments of one sperm whale bull who lives from the birth of man's Industrial Age into the 21st century. He travels farther than any land-borne creature in all of the world's history, traversing the Atlantic to the Pacific across the Horn of Africa and then up into the freezing water and seemingly impenetrable ice of the slowly melting Antarctic icecap. He is protected by adults, off to fight and protect himself in young adulthood, and then off to fight off other comers to mate to make sure the end of his life, beached on the New Zealand coast, is not the end of his DNA.
This is a world that's real and happening every day, but we will never see it in our lifetimes, a world where light doesn't penetrate, but the most epic combat is fought and lives are lived.
NOTE: Amazon is pairing this with my favorite documentary series of recent time: Life in the Undergrowth. Ocean Odyssey brings to life a world we can't see because we're too small and weak; Undergrowth brings to life a world we can't see because we're too big. Both are mind-altering visions."
M. Menefee | Silver Spring, MD USA | 04/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ocean Odyssey is awesome. There has never been a documentary that deals with the life history of whales. The documentary goes indepth in to the 80 year life of a sperm whale, know as "the bull". From Infancy to Twilight, we see the ocean thru "the bull's eyes". Facinating, and from the same folks who did the Walking with series. CG animation mixed with actual footage make an amazing mix. The only problem with the content is that some of the social interactions between sperm whales is incorrect, or otherwise out dated. Interestingly, a segment is devoted to Mesonychotuethis, the recently named "Colossal Squid". Okay, well watch it, and you'll enjoy it."
Thank you BBC Video
Billy Matrakis | Toronto, ON, Canada | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"for another brilliant attempt to educate the public about the world we live in. Kudos. So well done."
How to have the mysteries of the deep ocean at your fingerti
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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)
Great ocean odyssey
Racsal "SC" | Greenville, SC | 11/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this video. It told a story about a subject (whales). The focus was on the whales and not some individual telling the story. If you want a documentary, this may be the closest you get thousands of feet below the oceans. Good video."