Secrets Of The Whales Review

A Stunning Disney+ Original Four-Part Series From National Geographic

There’s something magical about whales. They are so different from us. Yet, in a lot of ways, they are the same.

They are mammals like us. They nurse their young like us. And each clan has its own language and customs just like us. Which is probably why it’s so fascinating to learn about these majestic, gentle creatures. And Secrets Of The Whales will help you do just that.

Premiering on Disney+ on April 22nd, Secrets Of The Whales is a four-part documentary series from National Geographic that gives us a chance to experience whale culture like never before.

It’s filmed over a three-year time period and in 24 vastly different locations including Antarctica, Greenland, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. And it gives a chance to see and hear the extraordinary ways how different species of whales communicate, hunt, and live.

During the four episodes of Secrets Of The Whales you will be able to get to know five species of the world’s largest mammals – orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals, and sperm whales – and see how complex and distinct each species and even each family of whales is.

Narrated by award-winning actress and conservationist Sigourney Weaver’s soothing voice and set to the soundtrack of French composer Raphaelle Thibaut’s instrumental tracks Secrets Of The Whales is an epic journey to the depths of the world’s oceans and seas and an intimate look at whales and other creatures that inhabit them.

And that journey is made even more special by the people that we meet on Secrets Of The Whales.

At the forefront is award-winning National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry who accompanies the scientists who are exploring these locations and trying to learn more about the whale species that live there.

Having spent over 10 thousand hours spent under water, Skerry expertly navigates the waters and knows just how to get close to the whales giving us a chance to witness some particular interactions and see just how friendly and gentle whales really are.

Like his interaction with an orca in episode 1, “Orca Dynasty” where a New Zeland’s orca offered Skerry a piece of the stingray it was feeding on.

Brian Skerry photographing New Zealand’s orcas in Secrets of the Whales Episode 101: Orca Dynasty (National Geographic for Disney+/Hayes Baxley)

Side note: If you want to see the breathtaking photographs that Brian Skerry took in some of the shows we see in the docuseries, you can check out his book Secrets of the Whales on Amazon!

For all the James Cameron out there, Secrets Of The Whales also has something for you.

Besides being an executive producer on this series alongside Maria Wilhelm, Brian Armstrong, and Shannon Malonede-Benedictis, Cameron also offers his thoughts on some of the things that we saw on the screen at the end of each episode.

Although his commentary is short compared to the rest of the episodes, it only helps to drive home the point of each installment. And gives a rare glimpse at Cameron in the mids of filming Avatar 2 in New Zealand.

Another highlight of Secrets Of The Whales is marine biologist Shane Gero who you will meet in episode 4 of the series.

Titled “Ocean Giants” the episode focuses on sperm whales living in both Dominica, the Azores, and Sri Lanka. And Gero’s infectious enthusiasm and deep care for these animals shine through in this episode and make us appreciate how nuanced and often challenging their lives are.

Shane Gero using a hydrophone to eavesdrop on sperm whale conversations in Sri Lanka (National Geographic for Disney+/Luis Lamar)

Lastly, besides just being a beautiful look at the complex culture of whales, Secrets Of The Whales also features several never-before-recorded moments that are not only incredible to watch but also helps us understand whales a tad bit better.

My personal favorite was seeing Beluga pod adopt a lost narwhal into their pod in episode 3 appropriately titled “Beluga Kingdom”. Such a cross-species adoption was never recorded before this docuseries which makes it that much more special. And knowledge of this type of adoption only solidifies the fact that whales truly are more like humans than we think.

Overall, Secrets Of The Whales is a visually stunning series with an electrifying soundtrack consisting of a combination of music and whale songs that lets us understand and appreciate whales on a deeper level.

It’s also not overly preachy on marine conservation like other documentaries are, but touches on it just enough for us to understand why we should be thinking about it more.

So, if you have an afternoon to spare and want something relaxing yet exciting to check out that will let you learn something new yet will also entertain you, Secrets Of The Whales is a must-watch.

All four episodes of Secrets Of The Whales premieres on Disney+ on Earth Day – Thursday, April 22nd!

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