Sea Reviews: Book Review


The companion book to the Disney Nature film

Oceans: The companion book to the Disney Nature film

Author: Francois Sarano & Stephane Duran

Publisher: National Geographic Books

Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Publish Date: March 23, 2010

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

List Price: $26.00 (Buy From Amazon and Save)

Oceans is the official companion volume to the challenging, breathtakingly beautiful documentary of the same name, created by Jacques Perrin and a crack team of scientists, cinematographers, divers, and technical specialists. A veteran of more than forty years of film-making and exploring the natural world in works like The Monkey People and Microcosmos, Perrin is the public face of an elite group that includes both veterans of Jacques-Yves Costa's pioneering exploits and cutting-edge innovators whose custom-created equipment captures never-before-witnessed scenes.

From the tropics to Antarctica, from Norway to New Zealand, and from tiny organisms at the bottom of the marine food chain to such magnificent creatures as blue whales, polar bears, swordfish, and giant squid, this vividly illustrated, deeply informative volume roams the seven-tenths of Earth blanketed by oceans that make our blue planet so hospitable to life. To capture the images here, divers swam unprotected among great white sharks and patiently staked out the breeding grounds where families of humpback whales sing their distinctive songs. Resourceful crew members created everything from streamlined camera pods able to keep pace with frolicking dolphins to a remote-controlled, mini-helicopter which hovered over a pod of whales to obtain footage impossible otherwise. Photographers invented a microscopic lens that revealed and recorded new universes of plankton, algae, coral, and tiny fish eggs—the minute building blocks that nourish this entire intricate, interdependent ecosystem.

Not just an authoritative, wide-ranging guide to the world's oceans, this is also a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of practical film-making under demanding, often difficult, sometimes downright dangerous conditions... and, last but by no means least, it's a clear-eyed, timely, persuasive preview of future seas: what we might have if we act now—and what we will surely get if we don't.

Oceans is typical of the quality products produced by National Geographic. This is a beautiful book with large, colorful images. This book was produced as a companion product by the Disney Nature film by the same name. Besides the stunning photography, the book covers many of the common residents of the oceans, including sharks, whales, turtles, and members of the coral reefs. The book then talks about the future of the oceans before talking a little about the making of the movie. Whether you have seen the film or not, you will enjoy this amazing, large-format book. Oceans should grace the coffee table of anyone who is interested in the oceans.

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