Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oceans Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: BD-50
Film Size: 24.4 GB
Film Rating: G
Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Region: A
The Video
Oceans’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Nature documentaries in general tend to impress when presented on Blu-ray, but Disney provides a high-def presentation which easily surpasses most nature releases.

‘Oceans’ is a visual treat and one that should be seen in high-definition. The Blu-ray release is just as fantastic as I could have imagined, providing a high level of detail and clarity to which DVD cannot compare.

I can’t imagine how difficult it was to capture some of the footage included in the film, but the clarity of it all makes it even more impressive. I watched the film on a high-def projector and it looked amazing from beginning to end.

The footage being shot underwater has limitations compared to something shot on land, but I personally would use this release as demo-material for showing off the Blu-ray format. There are certainly many amazing looking documentaries on Blu-ray, but to me they don’t compare when it comes to the content itself. 10/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, English, French and Spanish.

To be honest I had lower expectations for the audio experience. I was expecting a solid but forgettable mix; however my expectations were far too low. This is an extremely impressive audio experience which I really couldn’t expect.

The mix manages to make significant use of your surround speakers without sounding out of place. We hear every wave and environment detail with perfect clarity. The narration is front and center, being recorded in-studio it is flawless.

The sounds which come from the ocean and nearby environments are astounding as well. Everything is not only very clear, but very immersive. The visual experience alone is astounding, but the audio mix definitely helps bring the experience full circle. The mix is without a flaw and will engage viewers like no other documentary film has done. 10/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Filmmaker Annotations (Picture-in-Picture) (1:23:57) (HD)
Expand your viewing experience through video commentary and behind-the-scenes footage presented by the filmmakers of Oceans and leading experts on the animals and environments in the film. This feature is presented through Picture-in-Picture and provides plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Living Menu (BD-Live Required)
BD-Live powered menus designed to reflect the changing world, weather and seasons around you.

Disney & Nature: Caring for the World We Share (7:54) (HD)
If you remember when ‘Earth’ and ‘Oceans’ received theatrical releases, you will remember that Disney offered to contribute to certain efforts with every ticket sale. Learn about what has been done since their theatrical releases, also learn more about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

“Make A Wave” Music Video (1:50) (HD)
Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas introduce their music video ‘Make A Wave’ for ‘Disney’s Friends For Change.’

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film
With select features found on the Blu-ray release.

The extras are actually better than I expected. From past nature releases, I have come to expect very few bonus features if anything. There really isn’t much included here as well, but some serious work has gone into the Picture-in-Picture video commentary, which is quite active throughout the film.

Had this been an actual movie I would have expected more, but this is a solid package and provides plenty of behind-the-scenes footage which I had hoped for. The additional DVD copy is nice for those on the fence, but this one should be seen on Blu-ray. 6/10.

The Movie
I had the opportunity to see ‘Oceans’ theatrically, which I absolutely loved. Having the opportunity to revisit the documentary film was very enjoyable, with my thoughts on the film remaining exactly the same.

The film is the second released under the ‘Disneynature’ brand, the previous film being ‘Earth.’ I love documentaries; however I do find many to be difficult in appealing to children or younger audiences in general. Documentaries can be heavily narrated and feature voice talent which just doesn’t excite many children.

‘Oceans’ however manages to be much more exciting, with nicely edited sequences and variation. Pierce Brosnan narrates the film and his voice is certainly fitting. Kids may not necessarily pay attention to the narration, but the video footage provides quite the learning experience alone.

I know plenty of people who tend to avoid documentaries which preach certain efforts. In this film they do show how we have all contributed somewhat to damaging the oceans, but I didn’t find it preachy at all. It is a sad reality that our oceans have seen significant damage, but it doesn’t put focus solely on that, it just brings attention to those unaware.


The film is beautifully shot and edited. I was extremely impressed by some of the footage included; I can’t imagine how difficult it was to capture certain events. As far as a visual experience goes, this one is particularly impressive.

I loved ‘Oceans’ and it is certainly one of the better documentary films I have seen. It doesn’t go as into depth as other documentaries, but for 1 hour and 24 minutes this one certainly does a top notch job in presenting the material that it did.

Fans of previous Disney Nature release ‘Earth’ will also find enjoyment from ‘Oceans.’ I actually enjoyed ‘Oceans’ much more than I did ‘Earth.’ The film is both entertaining and informative, and it is one which will also be enjoyed by kids much more than your typical documentary. 9/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘Oceans’ is one of the best nature documentaries I have seen recently, I also love the style which can be easily be enjoyed by both older and younger audiences. The Blu-ray release is demo-worthy, featuring a stunning video and audio presentation. There are not too many bonus features, but it is hard to be too disappointed. Overall the Blu-ray release of ‘Oceans’ is ‘Highly Recommended’ to all.

Additional Screenshots:

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