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What to know: Inspiring, educational and amazing - You'll never think about whales the same again.
Recommended age 5-18
40 minutes
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If you enjoy seeing a documentary movie that will educate, inspire and amaze you than you will love MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales. I learned more about the humpback whale than if I had studied this unit in school for a month!

This forty minute, large format documentary on humpback whales tags along with leading whale researchers using new methods to see what the humpback whales do when no one's watching them.

The documentary follows the whales to the tropical kingdom of Tonga, to summertime in Alaska and then to the warm waters of Hawaii. The audience has a chance to follow the humpback whales migration, while experiencing their incredible songs and underwater acrobatics.

One unique thing among humpback males is the singing that they engage in. In fact, the recordings of whale songs are what helped save the humpback whales from extinction as people became interested in the animals who could make these beautiful and unique sounds.

The humpback whales do cooperative food gathering. It is known as "bubble net fishing" in which they work together to release bubbles and loud "feeding calls" to herd and trap herring. This makes it easier for them to gulp the herring or krill in large quantities because they can eat up to two tons of food a day.

My favorite part of the movie was seeing and learning about the different researchers who have spent their lives studying the humpback whales. One scene showing the males circling a female whale in an effort to mate is usually seen once every ten years. Nobody has ever seen the humpback whale actually mate so there are many unanswered questions surrounding this aspect of the humpback whales.

Ewan McGregor narrates with a sense of wonder that inspires us to want to know as much as possible about the humpback whales. The upbeat music throughout the movie peaks our interest and curiosity about these extraordinary creatures.

The film teaches us to admire and appreciate the complexities and sheer beauty of the humpback whales. We also see how a whale is rescued when it becomes entangled in life-threatening fishing gear. This rescue requires a lot of skill and understanding of how to free the whale while the rescuers stay safe. We learn the important things we must ensure so that they do not become extinct. We must never again have a whaling industry, have safer fishing gear, less trash in the ocean and take precautions not to have collisions between ships and whales.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adam Chernick, 9, KIDS FIRST! Critic.

Spellbinding! Humpback Whales is outstanding and incorporates the best that IMAX films have to offer - impossible photography, entertaining music and an instructional narrative that when combined, creates a positive visceral.

The musical score is brilliantly constructed to create an emotional connection between viewers and the whales. The song "Best Day of My Life" paired with pristine video footage of effortless swimming, lunging and breaching invokes a jubilant mood. The haunting, yet mesmerizing songs of the hunchback whales are also highlighted.

Narrated by Ewan McGregor, this documentary is educating, motivating and inspiring. I was enthralled by the details of the bubble net feeding and the up-close photography of the whales enjoying their catch. Rescue attempts of a young whale entrapped in rope from a boat demonstrates the dangers whales face as a result of man's impact on the ocean. The Special Features are almost as value-added as the main feature! "The Search" shows the difficulties in finding the humpback whales, leading the production crew to Tonga, Alaska and Hawaii. We meet the photographers, researchers and the director whose enthusiasm for the accurate and complete portrayal of the whales is contagious. Not only did I feel like I wanted to join their crew, but I also wanted to do more research on the humpbacks! "The Making of Humpback Whales" shows the behind the scenes logistics of filming the whales. For this viewer, the only thing missing was the spray of fresh ocean water! Humpback Whales rates a resounding 5 out of 5 stars! Your family will love it!

Narrated by two-time Golden Globe� nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX� 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.
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