Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Browse Movies


The Voices of Whales

bigImage Greatest Underwater Moment

In all sincerity, one of greatest underwater moments of my career . . . Thirty years ago I did Gentle Giants. In three months we had only 12 encounters with whales. This time in 30 days I was with whales 107 times . . . I've done so many films that I keep thinking I've seen it all. But in Hawaii I was frequently so knocked out by the experience that I would have to get back to the boat and look at my flippers for two or three minutes before I could even talk about it.

- Al Giddings, Producer/Director/Director of Photography

Kim and the "Sub-Adult"

Then it happened: I noticed a curious sub-adult turn back toward Kim as she was swimming. I told Kim not to follow it, but just lie still and let it come to her.

The sub-adult circled her closely, gliding against her. Then the other whales all came, including a mother who made eye-contact with Kim (first with one eye, then the other). The mother kept Kim stationed right over her head while her calf came up curiously. Now slowly from the bottom of the frame, a huge lone whale came up. Meanwhile, another entered from the left until there were so many whales around Kim I lost count. All of them crowded into a single frame with Kim in the middle and surf everywhere. The magic of that image is incredible. I radioed to Mariano (still in the boat waiting for Kim) 'We're getting it, we're getting all of it,' and he replied in his wonderful Latin American accent 'I know, I know, I'm weeping.' And he was.

-Dr. Roger Payne, Whale Researcher and Writer/Co-Director of WHLAES

Pioneering Work

It was my impression several years ago that there were 2,500 blues left in the world in four or five populations. I never thought I would even see one. The count off the coast of California is now over 2,000. In addition to the aerial shots of blue whales feeding, I'm looking forward to trying the new free diving technique with blue whales. Whales are always tough to film, and blues are much more on the move, so it will be pioneering work.

- Al Giddings, Producer/Director/Director of Photography

Send To A Friend | Request This Film | Post Your Own Review

Film Info

Video Clips

Clips & Trailers:

Whales: Blue whales Real 300 k

Whales: Humpback Real 300 K

Whales: Odyssey Real 300 k

Whales: Trailer Real 300 K

Film Status

Now Playing


DVD | VHS | Merchandise


Produced by National Wildlife Federation, Destination Cinema and Zephyr Productions. Major funding provided by the National Wildlife Federation Endowment and by the National Science Foundation. Producers: Christopher Palmer, David Clark. Directors: David Clark, Al Giddings, and Dr. Roger Payne. Distributed by National Geographic Giant Screen Films. Japanese Distributor: Cinema Japan Co., Ltd. Executive Produced by Richard James. Editor: James Lahti. Writers: Dr. Roger Payne, Mose Taylor, and Dr. Leighton Taylor. Narrated by Patrick Stewart. Composer: Sam Cardin, with feature song by Yanni.


BMZ Reviews:

Giants of the Ocean By Ross Anthony

Outside Reviews:

"Whales have big hearts in more ways than one" By George O. Singleton, Reel Movie

"Whales" By Kevin L. Campbell, Newcity Net

"Swimming with 'Whales'" By Stan Urankar, Sun Newspapers

"'Whales' has own identity" By Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle

"Latest IMAX film is a visual feast" By Allen Howie, Louisville Scene

Related Articles

Humpback Whales Wins Best Film of the Year and Other Top Accolades at the GSCA Film Awards By MacGillivray Freeman Films (September 25, 2015)

GSF Announces Ocean Giants: A Prehistory of Whales By Giant Screen Films (September 4, 2015)

Golden Globe Nominee Ewan McGregor to Narrate Humpback Whales By MacGillivray Freeman Films (December 18, 2014)

Premier Sponsor MacGillivray Freeman Films to Host Reception and Fine-Cut Screening of Humpback Whales at GSCA Conference By Giant Screen Cinema Assocation (August 15, 2014)

3D Entertainment Teams with Universal Pictures for the Blu-ray™ 3D Release of Ocean Film Trilogy By 3D Entertainment Distribution (November 30, 2010)

3D Entertainment's IMAX® Theatre Underwater Film Trilogy Sails Past USD 70 Million at the Box Office By 3D Entertainment (September 10, 2009)

IMAX® theatre film Dolphins and Whales 3D tops $10 million at the box office By 3D Entertainment Distribution Ltd. (December 3, 2008)

1 million viewers dive in 3D with Daryl Hannah-narrated Dolphins and Whales By 3D Entertainment (August 26, 2008)

Dolphins and Whales 3D Makes Film History in Germany By 3D Entertainment Distribution Ltd. (April 2, 2008)

Dolphins and Whales 3D Premieres in Europe By BMZ Staff (March 17, 2008)

Martina Gedeck to Perform German Narration of Dolphins and Whales 3D By 3D Entertainment Distribution Ltd. (March 7, 2008)

Dolphins and Whales 3D Interview: Director Jean-Jacques Mantello By BMZ Staff (February 29, 2008)

Dolphins and Whales 3D Premieres in Boston By BMZ Staff (February 29, 2008)

Daryl Hannah To Narrate Dolphins and Whales 3D By 3D Entertainment (January 24, 2008)

Cousteau/Mantello Bros. Join for Dolphins & Whales By 3D Entertainment (December 18, 2007)

Mantello Bros. Present Daryl Hannah Reef Check Award By 3D Entertainment (September 14, 2007)

Dolphins & Whales Principal Photog Complete By 3D Entertainment (August 29, 2007)

BMZ User Reviews

Rating: Excellent
Posted by:
...

Rating: Excellent
Posted by:
...