The IMAX Experience

Directed by James Cameron. USA. 2005.

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On a never ending quest to disguise learning opportunities as fun, totally NON-Educational Outings, I recently took my daughter and her best friends to the theatre to see Aliens of the Deep. Considering that the two of them combined have the general attention span of a slab of formica, I wasn't holding out a lot of hope for this particular ocean life documentary. After all, these two had found it difficult to sit still through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How on earth was James Cameron's latest underwater epic going to hold their attention? No musical numbers!! No Oompa Loompas!! Unless the undersea animals were constructed entirely of candy, I feared that I'd be in for a solid hour of "Is it done yet?" and "How much longer?" I worried for nothing. From the moment the 3-D previews started, to the final exclamation of "It's over? Already? Can we go again? PLEEEEEEEEASE!!!!" the two were riveted.

Aliens of the Deep is a beautiful documentary detailing the importance of the earth's oceans to all life on earth. Through the course of the film Cameron makes the point that perhaps we don't need to go traipsing off into space to find new life. Perhaps instead of going up, we should be splashing down.

Aliens of the Deep. All rights reserved.Since James Cameron's gigantic success with Titanic, he has found it difficult to get away from the aquatic arena. With the passion displayed for the subject matter, Cameron manages to sweep his audience (6 year old to adult) alike, right along with him. Aliens of the Deep is fascinating. I have never been one for the inner workings of machinery, and yet I was enthralled with the descriptions, and explanations of the various undersea apparatus. The scientist's sense of wonder at each new animal discovery is palpable, and genuine. Watching the marine biologists work with the creatures was exciting, (if a tad gross at times). The camera work is stunning, and is made all the more inclusive by the 3-D technology. Simply being able to watch the robotic submarine chug across the landscape, or see a translucent jellyfish wiggle it's way across the ocean floor would have been more then enough to hold a viewers' attention. The 3-D  film makes you a part of the film, making you feel as though you are on the biologists work vessel, like you're floating through a coral reef, or as though, if you could simply reach far enough, you could brush a fish as it swam past. Amazing.

As the girls left the theatre, I watched them walk straight past the latest Hollywood releases, march straight up to an Imax employee, and demand to know when the next movie was coming out. They may not be all that charged up about going to the next Disney flick. But they can't WAIT to go to "that movie? About the astronauts? Walking on the moon and stuff? It's going to be awesome!!"

I highly recommend Aliens of the Deep. To be able to go to a movie of this calibre that equally entertains,
but also informs both parent and child is a rare theatrical experience.

Appropriate Ages: 5 and Up
Warning Bells: Sudden appearance of a squid may startle younger viewers/3D effects may be a bit intense for the younger set
Parental Film Barometers: If your child has seen any other of the IMAX produced aquatic based documentaries
(Coral Reef Adventure, Dolphins, Galapagos 3D) they should be fine with this one.

Jen Johnston
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