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Ocean Giants

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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(Mar 06, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Ocean Giants

Dolphins and whales may appear to be totally alien to us. But with their mental ability, group communication and the recent discovery that dolphins have individual names, they are closer to us than we ever imagined. Ace underwater cameramen Doug Allan and Didier Noirot embark on a quest to film the most amazing stories of whales and dolphins across the ocean world. Teaming up with the world's top cetacean scientists, they uncover new insights into the lives of these extraordinary animals that will redefine how we see them forever. And includes a bonus Blu-ray copy!

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006ZYCH2E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,780 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on PBS about 2 weeks ago and was just captivated - I need to have this to show my daughter! They showed the documentary in 3 one-hour segments and I couldn't move away from the television the entire time. The documentaries were just so well done in every way - the beauty of the creatures, the more "inside" information about them, i.e any pertinent history of the particular animals, what their body language meant, the story of what was happening, etc. It was very moving (you'll see what I mean if you get this - I think I cried, and I'm not the crying kind). Get it, get it, get it!!!!! You will have no regrets!
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Format: DVD
In this extraordinary, sometimes heart-stopping, documentary about the lives of whales and dolphins, the BBC's Nature show travels the world to photograph many species. Underwater photographers Didier Moreau and Doug Allen dive among them to capture remarkable footage of these underwater mammals.

The first episode focuses on the courtship, mating, and parenthood of whales, although it also gives the viewer a glimpse of the blue whale's mysterious feeding off the coast of Sri Lanka. We get up-close, underwater glimpses of the gentle orgy of the right whale and of the violent, aggressive chase of the humpback. The second episode explores the higher level thought exhibited by these creatures. From dolphins playing from bubble rings to highly evolved and group-specific hunting methods, the cleverness displayed is amazing. The last episode concentrates on vocalizations used for communication, echolocation, and hunting.

The two-disc version comes with a regular DVD and a Blu-Ray one. If you have a Blu-Ray player, take care to select the right disc because the photography is breathtaking, especially on a large-screen TV. The advantage of having both formats is the ability to watch the documentary on both types of players.

The camera men risked their lives to shoot these images. Because some species view air bubbles as a sign of aggression, the camera men often descend among them only with snorkels; one swipe of a massive tail could drown them. In the Arctic, the extreme cold, even with scuba gear, gave the camera man mere minutes before hypothermia started to set in. For viewers, their determination pays off in unforgettable footage. In true Nature style.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was expecting a typical BBC documentary, but this program is more similar to Discocery documentaries. BBC documentaries tend to focus just on the animals (until the "behind the scenes" portions at the end), while this one included a significant amount of footage of the film crew and scientists discussing the animals on location. There is nothing wrong with this style, I just prefer BBC's traditional style.

The footage was also not up to par with your traditional BBC documentary. Part of it might have to do with the color grading process which is always excellent in most BBC shows. And some of the locations you will recognize from other documentaries (after all, they aren't going to skip something just because its been filmed before).

Regardless, although this series wasn't all that I had hoped it would be, there was some pretty interesting content that I had never seen before, especially in episodes 2 and 3. If I had known about the style ahead of time I might not have bought it, but in the end I'm glad I did.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'Ocean Giants', by BBC Earth and Nature, consists of three documentaries which explore the lives and times of whales and dolphins. The first episode covers information about the largest whales, including the Bowman Whale and the Blue Whale. The second episode is a fairly technical program which describes the intellectual abilities of dolphins. The third episode discusses how the various cetaceans use sound in their lives, including in capture of prey and purported communication.

Overall, one cannot quibble with the photography - it's simply amazing. To see these giants so close up is just amazing. It's notable that there has been very little footage in the past of the Blue Whale, and this series covers it well, showing how its body is so narrow yet so massive. There is also a lot of footage of other interesting cetaceans, including the Sperm Whale and the river dolphins in the Amazon.

If I had to lodge any complaint (and I hesitate to use that word because the series was overall very good), it would be that it doesn't have the sweeping grandeur of other BBC Earth documentaries I have seen. The music isn't quite right, and there is a lot of footage of scientists which, while necessary to the stories, takes away from the overall feel of the series.

Most importantly, the narration of John Benjamin Hickey just doesn't cut it. Admittedly, he has a hard act to follow compared to David Attenborough (the gold standard of nature documentary narrators), but his narration isn't as smooth or dramatic as other series I have seen. Even Tilda Swinton in 'Galapagos', who wasn't quite as good a narrator as David Attenborough, was better than Hickey. Although not completely distracting, this was the low point of the series.
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