It feels strange to dissect Oceans, Disneynature's latest Earth Day release documentary intended to raise environmental awareness. On the one hand, it is always a good thing when filmmakers set out to join a conversation, so it's tough to fault the admirable and altruistic intentions pinned to the sleeve of Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud's film. On the other hand, Oceans is not a 103-minute long television special; it's a film people are expected to go to a movie theater to pay and see. And as a feature film it is, as much as it saddens me to say to say this, somewhat underwhelming.
The footage is all quite extraordinary, some of it even breathtaking. The trouble is that it is all in service of a largely directionless narrative that does little more than raise the wrong kind of questions. Is Oceans a documentary intended to educate the audience about our oceans? Is it an environmental activist recruitment film? A portrait of an underwater world? If it is supposed to be the former, then it outright fails. The film's narration, brought to life by a notably lifeless Pierce Brosnan, never once even mentions the names of our planet's five oceans, which is only the beginning of the film's shortcomings as an educational tool.