The Living Sea

The Living Sea (1995)
Image Entertainment
Extras: Making of documentary, Theatrical trailers, Director’s biography

Narrated by Meryl Streep, with music and songs by Sting, ’The Living Sea’ is a beautiful visual and audio experience. From the tropical lagoons of Palau, to the raging seas off the coast of Maine, this IMAX experience provides a very broad, entertaining look at the variety of life both above and below the surface of the world’s oceans. You’ll find yourself swimming with whales, crashing through 15 foot waves aboard a Coast Guard search and rescue boat, and swimming in a school of over 2 million tiny jellyfish. This disc is beautiful to look at and just as wonderful to listen to. The soundtrack is drawn from Sting’s ’Ten Summoner’s Tales’ and ’Nothing Like the Sun’ albums and complements the photography very well.

As with all IMAX films, the running length is rather short, clocking in at 40 minutes, and the video is in full frame as that is the format IMAX cameras are designed for. The video is very sharp, with balanced colors that cover the entire spectrum and never bleed into each other. On a few shots some minor digital enhancement is visible, especially during the thrilling aerial work that IMAX films are known for, but it is never distracting and doesn’t last long.

The audio is nothing short of astounding. Offering an extremely dynamic DD 5.1 track in both English and Spanish, the disc also has a very powerful English DTS track as well. Dialogue is always clear, with the surrounds creating a very enveloping sound field for the music and effects. This is reference quality 5.1 sound and will give your system a very good workout.

As to extras, ’The Living Sea’ provides a very good, full-length documentary entitled ’The Making Of The Living Sea.’ Watching the crew film this movie is almost as enjoyable as watching the actual film itself. Also included are trailers for the IMAX films ’The Magic of Flight,’ ’Stormchasers,’ and ’Dolphins;’ and a short biography of Greg Macgillivray, the film’s director.

Continuing the tradition of excitement and education that is common to all IMAX films, ’The Living Sea’ offers an enlightening and entertaining view of the world’s oceans. Coupled with the exquisite photography and a great soundtrack, this disc is a winner.