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The Stars of Dolphins

bigImage KATHLEEN DUDZINSKI, Marine Biologist
Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski has been researching cetacean social behavior for more than a decade. Her studies of dolphin communication in the wild, conducted over a period of years in the Bahamas and Japan, are considered among the most exciting in the field. One of Dudzinski's most notable accomplishments was the development of the mobile video/acoustic array (MVA), a device which led to a vastly improved understanding of dolphin behavior and communication. Dudzinski is currently Vice President of the Ocean Conservation Society, where she is also the Director of the Dolphin Communication Project based in Los Angeles. In addition to her role in Dolphins, she has been featured in such publications as National Geographic and Outside Magazine, and was featured as a role model on the Girl Scouts of America's Web site. Says Dudzinski: "Swimming with dolphins has taught me that I don't need to rely on language to understand the meaning of an exchange between individuals, be they human or other animals. And while my work is a passion for me, life is meant to be enjoyed and shared. I guess you could say that dolphins have taught me to enjoy my playtime."

bigImage ATLANTIC SPOTTED DOLPHINS, Scientific Name: Stenella frontalis
The first recorded encounters between people and Atlantic spotted dolphins along the Little Bahamas Bank was in the late 1960's when divers were salvaging the wreck of a Spanish galleon. Divers were frequently visited by friendly spotted dolphins that would approach, investigate, and often mimic divers' actions. In the mid-1980's, scientists began studying their distribution, associations with one another, behavior, even identifying individuals by gender and the pattern of their spots. Beginning at about four years old, young dolphins in this species begin developing black spots on their light underside and white spots on their dark topside. The older the dolphin, the more spots. Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski, featured in our film, uses the spots and markings, such as scars from encounters with sharks or other dolphins, to help her identify each dolphin. In order to understand the communicative lives of these animals she must first understand who is "talking." Atlantic spotted dolphins are relatively small compared to other dolphins. They are about six feet long and weigh approximately 200 pounds when they reach adulthood. The females of this species are generally larger than the males.

bigImage Dusky Dolphins, Scientific Name: Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Dr. Bernd Würsig, featured in our film, knows more about dusky dolphins than anyone in the world. He's been studying these acrobatic marvels since the 1970's. His dusky dolphin research takes him from Argentina to New Zealand, as duskies live in the temperate waters of the southern hemisphere. Duskies are smaller than many dolphins, reaching a length of five to six or so feet. They have very short beaks and distinctive black and white coloring, but the most noted characteristic of the duskies is their highly acrobatic leaps. In addition to helping propel them more quickly through the water, duskies may be leaping for their dinner. By leaping high, they may be locating their prey by spotting flocks of birds feeding on schooling fish, sometimes miles away. These leaps also might communicate to other dolphins that dinner is near.

bigImage Bottlenose Dolphins, Scientific Name: Tursiops truncatus
The 1960's television show "Flipper," as well as oceanariums that care for captive dolphins, have made the bottlenose the most recognized dolphin species in the world. In fact, bottlenose dolphins inhabit temperate and tropical waters of almost every ocean. Bottlenose dolphins, at about 10 feet long and 600 pounds, are much bigger than spotteds and duskies.. In Dolphins, we meet Dean Bernal, a marine naturalist in the Turks & Caicos, West Indies, who has befriended a wild, bottlenose dolphin named JoJo. JoJo is one of the rare, lone "ambassador" dolphins that seek out human companionship. Dean and JoJo have been swimming the reefs of the Turks and Caicos together for fifteen years and have developed what Dean calls a "trusting friendship." In the wild dolphins can be quite aggressive with one another and with other species, including humans. Several people have been injured and one person killed by a dolphin, but the blame often falls on the humans who don't understand how their actions can be interpreted as aggressive by the dolphin. Dean leads a public education program that stresses the importance of appropriate behavior around dolphins. Scientists like Kathleen and Dean tell us we need to understand dolphin communication, behaviors and life cycles, as well as their feeding and rest patterns, so that we don't disrupt their lives, or cause injury to dolphins or ourselves.

Distinguished actor Pierce Brosnan has starred in an array of action thrillers and most recently reinvigorated the popularity of the James Bond legacy, assuming the title role in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. Brosnan recently expanded the range of his film work by launching his own production company, Irish Dream Time. He produced and starred in the company's first studio project, The Thomas Crown Affair, which became both a critical and box office hit, and has also starred in such prestigious dramas and comedies as The Mirror Has Two Faces, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Love Affair. In addition to his stellar film career, Brosnan has assumed a passionate leadership role in environmental issues. He is actively involved in many conservation organizations and is a vocal supporter of marine mammal rights. He has lobbied against legislation designed to weaken federal standards for labeling canned tuna "Dolphin Safe," and most recently has become involved in a campaign by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and others to stop a proposed salt factory at Laguna San Ignacio on Mexico's Baja California peninsula. The lagoon is the last pristine breeding ground remaining on earth for the Pacific gray whale.

Sting, Composer
Grammy Award-winning musician, singer and songwriter Sting has long used his celebrity to work toward preserving the earth's resources. Beginning with the 1987 release of Nothing Like the Sun, which contained the singles "They Dance Alone" and "Fragile," Sting has campaigned for more than a decade against war, human rights abuses and the destruction of the rain forest. Nicknamed Sting for the black and yellow sweater he once wore while performing, Gordon Matthew Summer was raised in the bleak industrial town of Newcastle, England. After moving to London to pursue music, in 1977 he met up with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers to form The Police, who broke through with the hit single "Roxanne" later that year. The release of their 1983 album Synchronicity, with its Grammy-winning Song of the Year, "Every Breath You Take," secured The Police's place in rock history. Sting's solo career has proved no less successful, withThe Soul Cages (1991) and Ten Summoner's Tales (1993) both winning Grammy Awards. In 1995, Sting's music was featured in MacGillivray Freeman Films' IMAX theater film The Living Sea, marking the first time in large-format history that a Grammy-winning pop star had contributed music to a non-concert film.

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Film Info

Video Clips

BMZ Originals:

Dolphins: What the Kids Are Saying Real 300 K

Dolphins: What the Kids Are Saying Real 56 K

Clips & Trailers:

Dolphins Trailer MPEG

Dolphins: Trailer Real 300 K

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A MacGillivray Freeman Film, in association with the National Wildlife Federation. Producers: Greg MacGillivray, Alec Lorimore. Director: Greg MacGillivray. Distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films Distribution. Japanese Distributor: Sarai Inc. Executive Producer: Christopher N. Palmer. Writers: Tim Cahill, Stephen Judson. Directors of Photography. Greg MacGillivray, Brad Ohlund. Narrator: Pierce Brosnan. Music by: Sting.


BMZ Reviews:

BMZ Review of Dolphins By Herb Lash

I Need You Like This Hole In My Head By Ross Anthony

Outside Reviews:

"Dolphins" By Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly

"Dolphins" By Vladimir Zelevinsky, The Tech (MIT)

"Dolphins more than IMAX eye-candy." By Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies

"Under the Sea" By Maryann Johanson, The Flick Filosopher

"Dolphins" By Norm Schrager, 24 Frames Per Second

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BMZ User Reviews

Rating: Excellent
Posted by: jodidemom
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Rating: Excellent
Posted by: Dirv
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Rating: Excellent
Posted by: ken_vandine
Great movie! Makes me want to move to the Bahamas and play with the Dolphins everyday :-) ... Read More >>