Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean (2008) Poster

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Fantastic footage
lydianali28 May 2008
I went and saw this in IMAX 3D yesterday. The footage is spectacular and the 3D is the best I've seen. The music is also very serene. There is footage of several different species of water mammals (mostly Cetacea), including Humpback Whale, Beluga, Right Whale, Bottlenose dolphin, Common Dolphin, Manatee, and more. Daryl Hannah narrates the film and she does a great job. There is a little bit of conservation preaching that seems a little abrupt at the end, but not something that I am against.

Though this film is short, and perhaps not the most educational due to the brevity, it definitely provided a great IMAX experience.
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He's no Jaques...
sydneycook2323 February 2008
Like the gentle giants that make up the latter half of this film's title, Jean-Michel Cousteau's latest production has grace, but it's also slow and ponderous. The producer's last outing, "Sharks-3D" had the same problem. It's hard to imagine a boring shark documentary, but they somehow managed it. The only draw for Sharks was it's passable 3D, which is always fun when dealing with wondrous worlds beneath the ocean's surface. But even that was only passable. Poor focus in some scenes made the production seems amateurish. With Dolphins and Whales, the technology is all but wasted. Cloudy scenes and too many close-ups of the film's giant subjects do nothing to take advantage of IMAX's stunning 3D capabilities. There are far too few scenes of any depth or variety. Close-ups of these awesome creatures just look flat and there is often only one creature in the cameras field, so there is no contrast of depth. Jean-Michel Cousteau is trying to follow in his father's footsteps, but when you've got Shark-Week on cable, his introspective and dull treatment of his subjects is a constant disappointment.
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Impressive and relevant
Horst_In_Translation7 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean" is a 42-minute nature documentary from 2008, so this one has its 10th anniversary next year. It was directed by Jean-Jacques Mantello, who actually shot quite a few underwater documentaries in his career and as the title says the focus in this one here is on dolphins and whales. And it may be his best career effort so far. It has a very clean structure. You read the name of the species on the screen and afterward see video recordings while listening to the narrator provide some information. The narrator in my case, i.e. the German version, was successful actress Martina Gedeck, while audiences from the English-speaking countries get to listen to Daryl Hannah and Charlotte Rampling. As for Gedeck, I think she did what was necessary and overall delivered fine narration. The few moments where the texts get a little too poetic for their own good are nothing you can blame her for. Another minor criticism: The way in which the environmental message got rushed in near the very end was not too adequate I would say, but I guess it is still better than leaving it out completely. Other than that, I think it is a great success. The video footage is nothing short of amazing, the audio manages to be interesting and informative without ever getting too scientific or not scientific enough. I may be a bit biased as I am indeed a sucker for animal documentaries, but this little IMAX movie was really good and I think I am neutral enough to say that still as fish and underwater documentaries are frequently not as much to my liking as documentaries about prairie wildlife for example. But this one here is, even to a level where IO would say that this is at this point right now my favorite short film of 2008. Do not miss it. Final note: Manatees are the coolest thing ever.
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quantumcat26 October 2014
Beautiful shot. Stunning visuals. But Short. Too short. Incoherent. It jumps from whale to whale to dolphin. It even has a manatee cameo (it's called whales & dolphins...not sea mammals?) It doesn't seem to have a clear goal of narration. Boring. Yes- I found the narration dull and lifeless. Didn't give much information, -sounded more like filler material. I had hoped to new insights to whales & dolphins, never before seen events, I dunno...something Cousteau? The environmental message to preachy. And on top of that delivered flat. I think the emphasis was on 3D -not on whales & dolphins. Not the worst,but not one worthy of the name Cousteau either.
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What a disappointment
caspercorb12 October 2010
Yes, there were some beautiful shots of the animals..... That being said, I have nothing else positive to say about this film. It can easily be compared to watching a moving copy of a poorly written encyclopedia. The content was not in the least bit interesting. I have seen lots of great dolphin and whale documentaries and this was easily the mostly boring one I have ever seen. After 20 min (so...half the movie) my daughter turned to me and asked "has it started yet?" I couldn't blame her, I felt like I'd been watching the opening credits for the last 20 minutes. The 3D was also some of the worst I have seen, It would zoom in on these dramatic close ups and then the whole thing would go blurry, not my idea of a well made film when it's so blurry you don't know what part of the whale you are looking at. The constant guilt trips about humans ruining the ocean got a little old as well. It was always thrown in at the end of a segment, like it was trying to be subtle, but failing miserably. I have to say I wasn't too upset when this film ended after about 45 min, I was just glad to get out of there. But really? Can you call that a movie? I call it a glorified public service announcement.
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... and some other underwater things
kosmasp8 October 2010
This movie gives you the feeling that it is both educational and entertaining. But it doesn't quite work completely. Especially if you have seen "Deep Water" (3-D), than you will find this quite a downfall compared to that other documentary. While the speaker try their best, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are hard to top ... actually they are not able too.

But it's not the voice artists fault that it doesn't quite work. It has quite a few good moments (I watched it 3-D, but not in an IMAX), but overall seems to lack some substance and the fine line Deep Sea was walking, being informative and a good listen too. The pictures are good enough and if you like underwater shots, than you will be more than satisfied anyways. But if you only watch one underwater documentary, make it Deep Sea 3-D
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