Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Secrets of the Whales * Exploring the Mysteries of the Oceans and Its Many Secrets

Filmed across three years in 24 locations, the 4-part event series it’s a profoundly personal saga, venturing deep into the world of whales to reveal life and love from their perspective. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, “Have you ever been told that our oceans are very mysterious and that they hold many secrets that are likely to be hidden forever?  Well, that’s certainly true – our oceans are indeed mysterious and some of the most amazing secrets hidden deep within our oceans have recently been discovered and are ready to be shared with the world in a new National Geographic four-part documentary series.”

Apurva S., adds, “The show is amazingly entertaining; it’s like a dramatic show, but with a little less drama and featuring whales instead of humans. We learn that whales feel emotions and grieve as well. Drama like this is definitely a factor that got me hooked into the show. One thing I need to call attention to is the images and cinematography. National Geographic Explorer and Photographer, Brian Skerry brings expansive knowledge and research to the film.” See their full reviews below.

Secrets of the Whales (TV Mini-Series 2021)
By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Have you ever been told that our oceans are very mysterious and that they hold many secrets that are likely to be hidden forever?  Well, that’s certainly true – our oceans are indeed mysterious and some of the most amazing secrets hidden deep within our oceans have recently been discovered and are ready to be shared with the world in a new National Geographic four-part documentary series. Secrets of the Whales spotlights four species of whales and uncovers their secrets and stories of survival with “first time” evidence and never-before-seen coverage. This series is epic and one you are going to want to witness!

An orca poses with its quarry for National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry. The New Zealand population of whales are the only known members in the world to pursue stingrays on the seabed. (National Geographic for Disney+/Kina Scollay)

Secrets of the Whales brings alive the visions of both Academy Award winning filmmaker and conservationist James Cameron and acclaimed National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Brian Skerry as they share their knowledge and research finding of some of the most intelligent giants living on our planet. Filmed across three years and in 24 locations, this documentary series, narrated by award-winning actress Sigourney Weaver, takes viewers on an amazing journey into the lives of orcas, humpbacks, belugas, and sperm whales. From Cameron and Skerry’s work we gain such an expansive understanding and appreciation of whale family dynamics, social bonds, communication and tradition. It’s the “secrets these mammals share which help them prevail.” 

This series has me completely captivated throughout all four episodes. Seeing the variety of marine life within their natural habitat is just jaw-dropping.  With such stunning photography and action-packed video footage, the cinematography in Secret of the Whales is the best I’ve ever seen. As each scene is presented to viewers, you get a sense of being right there and consumed within each moment.  To pick a favorite episode within this series would be impossible, since each episode is so unique with new secrets of the whales being unveiled to viewers.

Orcas in the Falkland Islands pursue powerful elephant seals – a feat they can’t do alone. (National Geographic for Disney+/Kevin Krug)

The common message within all four episodes of Secrets of the Whales is centered around culture.

These whale families must work together in a sophisticated manner if they are going to survive and be successful as a species. Whales are highly evolved creatures that have the complexity of family bonds, language, feeding patterns, emotions and interesting secrets. It is critical that these traditions be taught to offspring and passed down throughout the generations.   

I give Secrets of the Whales 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults, especially those interested in marine ecology and conservation will certainly appreciate these films as well. Secrets of the Whales will begin streaming on Earth Day April 22, 2021 on Disney+. What a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Don’t miss this series!

Secrets of the Whales
Apurva S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

More than 25,000 orcas inhabit the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. (National Geographic for Disney+/Hayes Baxley)


If someone came up to you and asked whether you liked reading facts or fiction, chances are you’d probably say fiction. And I can relate. Let’s face it, the real world can be boring, but Secrets of the Whales definitely is not. Its pictures and views are absolutely outstanding; it has pretty unknown facts; and, best of all, it hooks you in! Kudos to the creators of Secrets of the Whales for making it something I can’t stop watching.

This show is a classic documentary series that gives an inside look into the lives of whales. From raising their young, to getting them food, to teaching them to swim and where they live, Secrets of the Whales is an in-depth show that doesn’t miss a fact. 

The show is amazingly entertaining; it’s like a dramatic show, but with a little less drama and featuring whales instead of humans. We learn that whales feel emotions and grieve as well. Drama like this is definitely a factor that got me hooked into the show.

Awkward on land and graceful in the water, Gentoo penguins are a favorite orca prey in the waters off Antarctica. (National Geographic for Disney+/Hayes Baxley)

One thing I need to call attention to is the images and cinematography. National Geographic Explorer and Photographer, Brian Skerry brings expansive knowledge and research to the film. Cinematographer Brian Armstrong’s images are clear and relevant, always providing a highly appreciable visual match to the story. Narrator Sigourney Weaver also has a clear voice and talks slowly as well as loudly, so we can hear her and understand her well.

When I watched this show, I definitely learned a lot about the lives of whales. They are a lot smarter than we think. This was a very educational experience. It is definitely a family-friendly show.

I recommend Secrets of the Whales for ages 6 to 18, plus adults and give it x out of 5 stars. Secrets of The Whales is produced by National Geographic and releases on Disney+ on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Be sure to check it out.

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