Cetacean Society International
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
"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
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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