This is the second documentary from Disney Nature. It follows last year's Earth, which focused on three land-based animals. It featured various other land-based animals but focused mainly on the migration of three. Oceans sets its sights on water-based animals, but it doesn't focus on any one particular or any three in particular. It broadly does a round robin on an assortment of fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, mammals, and even water birds.
I applaud French filmmakers Jacques Perrin (Winged Migration) and Jacques Cluzaud because the cinematography and editing here is nothing less than glorious. It's extremely intriguing how they frame their animals as they intersect with the human world. One scene that depicts a rocket launch from the point-of-view of a marine iguana was beautiful and clever.
Nevertheless, it all became dull after a while. First off, the writers don't provide any real or relevant facts about the animals. The depth of information we get is that "big fish eat little fish." We don't get anything insightful, useful, or more interesting contextually that we can take away from this film.
Perrin and Cluzaud give us a scene on the behavior of penguins, which is a scene we've witnessed now several times before in several other nature documentaries. Yes, it was pretty to watch, but, without offering anything new, it was mainly just a waste of time.
The narration is poetic. Initially, the voice of Pierce Brosnan compares the ocean to outer space where looking at the deep reaches of the water below is similar to looking at the deep reaches of the galaxy above. Perrin and Cluzaud do match the visuals perfectly, making sea urchin eggs indeed look like stars in the night sky.
Unlike in March of the Penguins or Earth, there is no compelling drama between the animals. Typically, animals trying to eat other animals is compelling enough, but there's hardly any of that here. There's three, brief scenes of a mantis shrimp fighting, baby turtles as prey, and spider crabs doing battle. Yet, most of the film is about showing the animals as peaceful and friendly creatures, such as eels doing ballet. It all becomes a little too cute.