Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. VI No. 1 January 1997

New IMAX Movie: "Whales"

by Brent Hall

"Whales", a new large-format "IMAX" movie, is now playing at the Maritime Aquarium, 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT. The movie follows blue, humpback, orca, right whales and dolphins through the coastal waters of Alaska, Newfoundland, California, Patagonia, Hawaii and Columbia. Co-directed by Emmy Award winner David Clark, acclaimed underwater filmmaker Al Giddings, and renowned whale expert Dr. Roger Payne, the film balances entertainment with education as it presents many spectacular images of whales along with their vocalizations and songs. The immense screen allows you to see the whales virtually life-size. Oddly enough, one of the most striking sequences to me was of a whale skeleton on the ocean floor - perhaps I have been spending too much time in the dinosaur hall at the natural history museum.

I only have one slightly negative impression of the movie: it is probably because the film's emphasis is on baleen whales that the orcas are given a very brief and unbalanced treatment, portrayed as the "bad guys" preying on the migrating humpback whales that the audience had just bonded with earlier in the film. The toothed whales deserve a sequel! In the meantime, anyone interested in whales should find this to be an excellent movie.

"Whales" is a production of the National Wildlife Federation, Destination Cinema Inc., and Zephyr Productions Ltd. It will be playing daily through May or June - for show times call the Maritime Aquarium at (203) 852-0700.

Scene from "Whales" movie

The sheltered waters of Patagonia provided wonderful
opportunities for the filming of "Whales".
This young southern right whale curiously goes eye to eye
with the cameraman.

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