- Last Updated: Sunday, 05 April 2020 06:32
Disney+ premieres two new DisneyNature documentaries Friday, April 3, DOLPHIN REEF and ELEPHANT. Both nature docs are a welcome distraction at a time when families need to entertain their kids and perhaps learn lessons from the animal kingdom. Video review below.
Don't blink and you'll also get a glimpse of Nemo and other amazingly creatures in DOLPHIN REEF. Narrated by Natalie Portman, DOLPHIN REEF follows the adventures of a young dolphin calf named Echo, a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin. Echo is like every human child who is easily distracted, and refuses to follow an adult lead. In this case, the three-year old must learn to catch his own food and learn how to survive but mom Kumu has the uphill battle of keeping her calf focused on the prize when he’s easily distracted by a humpback whale and her calf, a beautiful peacock mantis shrimp who’s keeping up the maintenance in the reef and other residents of their home near a Polynesian island.
DOLPHIN REEF also focuses on Echo’s home, a beautiful coral reef inhabited by strange creatures and plants in an ecosystem that relies on every member to do their part. The documentary not only focuses on how dolphins interact as a pod, but it goes much deeper (pun intended) in explaining how each creature of the sea contributes to the ecosystem. The reef is a gorgeous rainbow of plants and animals both mischievous and dangerous.
As with most nature documentaries, the subjects face dangerous moments that will have viewers anxiously awaiting the outcome. Echo and his mother face peril from various threats including tiger sharks who eat dolphins and other sharks. Most people would be shocked to know that orcas also prey on dolphins as well. The mother and son also encounter danger from another dolphin pod who surround them.
The cameras capture the dolphin's complex language of squeaks and clicks, and lovable behavior that will have you feeling all kinds of warm feelings about these adorable sea creatures.
DOLPHIN REEF also follows a humpback whale and her newborn calf who face similar dangers from other predators. Like Kumu, this whale of a mother must protect her young one at all costs. She too seeks help from other humpback whales with splashes of her tail on the water which sends signals only they understand from a distance.
It's quite miraculous how the camera people capture these dangers and the beautiful, intimate moments in the ocean, as well as the beauty of these underground communities thriving with life. The colorful reef is a wondrous place with vibrant fish poking their heads out of caves and predators who mesmerize their prey with their shimmering lights and camouflage. It's truly spectacular.
The power of motherhood displayed by Kumu and the humpback whale is also astonishing in DOLPHIN REEF, and it's a story every motherly figure can relate to.
Natalie Portman's voice provides a fun narration of the action that's soothing when it needs to be after a close call for the mothers and children in the story.
DOLPHIN REEF is a must-see for the whole family. It's entertaining for all ages, especially kids who might recognize themselves in Echo, and hopefully inspire the next generation to value and protect our planet.