Starring: Geoffrey Bateman
Produced by: Jean-Michel Cousteau
Since 1975, when Steven Spielberg’s seminal blockbuster thriller-cum-horror film forever demonized them, sharks have been our preferred oceanic boogieman. It was Richard Dreyfuss as Dr. Hooper said “…All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks…” we have thought of them as monsters of the deep, and (for some) have made going out into deep water, something of a fear-induced trauma. Still, The Discovery Chanel’s Shark Week aside, we now know that not only have sharks been hunted to almost extinction, but, well, they are far less fearsome than we have been lead to believe. Doubt me? Well then come out to Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium and spend some time observing them in the shark room and talk to some of the folks who work there.
Better, yet, come out the IMAX theater at the Aquarium and watch Cousteau’s Sharks, a family-friendly film that dives into the world of sharks with simple, easy to understand concepts about these great fish, and (best of all for parents), no scenes of them preying upon others creatures of the sea; thus making it quite kid friendly. Plus, there is a sea turtle that actually “narrates” the film (with the very British voice of Geoffrey Bateman). During the course of the 42 minute film (presented on Conn’s first and largest IMAX screen), audiences will learn about the biological adaptations specific to each classification of sharks that make these amazing creatures so unique among fish world.
In addition to the sharks, viewers will also get to encounter manta rays, an enormous school of sardines, sea lions, jellyfish, dolphins, as well as other creatures of the deep. The film also reveals that much of what we “know” about the oceans’ top predators are simply wrong, and that Sharks are really very misunderstood by most folks, and because of this, they paying a deadly price for their (undeserved) reputation. According to Jack Schneider, the Aquarium’s curator, it is important that we stop seeing sharks as blood-thirsty marauders, and understand that they are actually quite essential to the survival of the oceans. Schneider slyly stated that, “The film also does a nice job of presenting a number of different shark species with varying adaptations. And IMAX offers the best way to see these animals without having to swim in the water next to them.”
The film is an ideal companion piece to the Aquarium’s new Sharks and Rays Gallery exhibit, complete with its big touch pool where visitors can actually touch a live shark, and then there’s the Open Ocean exhibit, with its sand tiger sharks.
Tickets for the IMAX film, Cousteau’s Sharks, are $9.50 ($8.50 for seniors 65 and older), and $7 for children ages 2-12. If you wish to include a visit into the Aquarium itself, along with your IMAX film, tickets are $24.95, $22.95 for both youths (ages 13-17) and seniors (65 and older), and $17.95 for children 2-12. For tickets or more details, visit the Aquarium’s website, or call 203.852.0700, ext. 2206.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.