Sunday, May 17, 2015

Humpback Whales - New IMAX at the Ontario Science Centre

Looking for something to with the kids this long weekend? You can head to the Ontario Science Centre (open all weekend!) and check out a wonderful new film on their IMAX screen, Humpback Whales.

Full disclosure, I am an East Coast girl, and I love humpback whales. These beautiful, majestic creatures are not an uncommon sight off the coast of my Newfoundland home, and I've spent many hours watching them both from shore and boat. In my experience they seem to be just as curious about us as we are about them, and I love to watch them play and show off for the tour boats.

Humpback Whales tells the story of the humpbacks' journey back from near extinction, and chronicles their migrations, feeding, mating rituals, and parenting practices, as observed by researchers working throughout the Pacific Ocean. The visuals on the huge screen are stunning, and you really feel immersed in the ocean with them. Meanwhile, audiences learn about what life is like in their underwater world, and gain insight into the current theories around the meanings of their songs and behaviours.  There is one scene that particularly stood out for me, documenting a hunting and feeding practice of a pod of humpbacks off the coast of Alaska. These whales work together to herd their fishy prey before they move in for lunch.  One whale will create a kind of net or enclosure of bubbles, while others drive the fish towards the surface with movement and sound. It is truly incredible.

"Whales are awesome animals," says director, Greg MacGillivray. "They are critical to the ecological health and survival of the ocean, and since they are among the largest animals to ever live on earth, there is no better subject for audiences to experience life-size on the giant screen."

Humpback Whales is a great movie for families, and it runs just 40 minutes, which is perfect for the shorter attention spans of younger kids.  Playing daily at the Science Centre, find the exact schedule online.

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