Humpback Whales 3D

Featured In Issue 209, September 2016

3D Picture5+
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Shout! Factory
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SF 16677
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Greg MacGillivary
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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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 on 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. Included in the release is a 4K Ultra HD version. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 17:07) and theatrical trailers.

The 1080p MVC 1.78:1 picture was filmed on authentic 15-perf, 65-mm negative film and originally exhibited in IMAX theatres in 70-mm, dual-strip 3D on Kodak film stock. The imagery is spectacularly gorgeous with a most impressive sense of realistic depth and perspective, with mature humpback whales and their calfs in wonderful 3D as the whales gracefully and slowly swim in pristine seas in the South Pacific and Alaska. The imagery of locals is colorful and natural.The imagery is absolutely beautiful and naturally rendered with incredible realism. The color palette is perfectly natural, with earthy warm and rich hues on land and on boats, as well as the natural environment and seas that are never exaggerated or stylized. Contrast is well balanced with natural blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Fleshtones also are naturally rendered. The 3D is breathtaking in natural, realistic dimension. This is an extraordinarily three-dimensional visual experience that is not to be missed. Few 3D releases are so visually impactful. Originally photographed in native 3D for IMAX Giant Screen Theatres with photography and stereography by Simon de Glanville using the IMAX 3DC camera system, this is a reference 3D presentation throughout, Viewers of the 3D movie will not be disappointed and will experience a lasting memory of the wonders and mysteries of undersea nature. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack features a wonderful orchestral score with segments of localized-tinged music that not only extends wide and deep across the frontal soundstage but to the four surround channels with a sense of height immersion. Atmospherics are impressively natural and provide the realistic sonics of the humpback whales in their natural underwater environment and during their singing (grunts, groans, snorts, and barks) in their hidden world below, splashing and feeding. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially and the narration by Ewan McGregor is perfectly presented with a perfectly balanced forward presence. This is a wonderful holosonic® and Immersive Sound experience that will delight the family. (Gary Reber)