IMAX: Under the Sea (Blu-ray Review)

IMAX Under the Sea (Blu-ray Review)IMAX films are known for delivering the highest quality in sound and video, trying to bring the actual experience as close to home as possible.  Granted, you don’t get the massive, curved screen and concert speakers at home like you do at an actual IMAX/Omnimax theater, but you’re still getting a top-notch product nonetheless.  The latest arrival from the IMAX folks is Under the Sea.  Most IMAX films run in the 40 to 45-minute range and this educational film is on par with that at a few seconds shy of 41 minutes.  Grab your wetsuit and scuba gear as we head Under the Sea.


IMAX: Under the Sea is a spectacular look into the coral depths of various parts of the Pacific ranging from Indonesia to Australia.  Narrated by actor/comedian Jim Carrey, the Hollywood funny man serenely guides viewers through the densely populated ocean floor of coral reefs where life is abound in many different forms and colors.  Documentaries aren’t for everyone as far as casual viewing goes, but Under the Sea proves to be quite the educational and even entertaining piece as audiences will gain an education on the various species of fish, sea snake and cuttlefish just to name a few.  From the world’s most venomous fish, the stonefish, to the mysteriously primitive nautilus and the playful sea lions of Oceana, IMAX brings to you an appealing production that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

My only complaint about this film was selecting Jim Carrey as the narrator.  He doesn’t turn into his on-screen persona, so no worries there.  However, his vocal coverage of the material just didn’t draw me in.  I can’t say it was annoying, but it just didn’t retain the commanding presence of someone like Liam Neeson or Harrison Ford.  I’m not saying it had to be one of those guys, but they would have been a better fit.  Considering the narrator is your guide in IMAX films, it is a fairly significant issue of who the production team chooses to present the dialogue.  That aside, it is no deal-breaker and viewers will still be able to enjoy a beautifully presented experience.

IMAX Under the Sea


This disc utilizes a VC-1 encode, 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and the obvious 1080p high def resolution in its visual presentation.  The bottom line to all that is this is not one of, but thee most beautiful Blu-ray disc I have ever laid my eyes upon.  Perhaps this is due in part to Mother Nature being a better provider of beauty and eye-catching phenomena that computer generated imagery could ever hope to give us.  Advantages of content aside, there was not one bit of grain in this film.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  The array of reef colors and the details of the life that call the reefs home was nothing less than pristine and is without a doubt, reference quality material.  The filmmakers captured the magnificence of aquatic life with obvious expertise, which is blatantly apparent in the content and quality of that content captured here.

IMAX Under the Sea


Though not as striking as the visuals, the audio is impressively relayed through the variety of speakers in your home’s surround sound, save for the subwoofer.  Jim Carrey’s narration is delivered through the front speakers along with the music and some underwater sounds.  The front-side and rear channels also bring forth the disc’s musical soundtrack and a few oceanic sounds such as air bubbles and a snapping fish.  Again, the only drawback is with the narrative.  In this case, it is not that it is with Carrey himself, but the recorded volume of his narration.  It just came across a bit too low, not to the point of being out of earshot, but low enough to recognize that an improvement could have been made.  All in all, you will find a very fitting soundtrack carried to your ears as each tune is accurately accompanying the scene on screen, beautifully captured ambient sounds of the undersea with a mild Jim Carrey dialogue.

IMAX Under the Sea

Special Features 
With a 40-minute, 51-second main feature, one cannot expect too much content to appear on the disc’s extras.  Such is the case with IMAX: Under the Sea as there is less than 20 minutes of goodies here.  They are all displayed in 1080i, though I beg to differ on the true high definition labeling of all the extra content.  Many of the shots in the field are rough and very dvd-looking.  The quick interview shots with people like director Howard Hall are indeed flawless, true high def.

• Behind the Story – Filming IMAX: Under the Sea This provides a brief experience of what went into making this documentary (7:17).
• Expeditions – With five featurettes in all, they take viewers on a quick journey into the various shooting locations of Under the Sea (12:06).  They are as follows:
o Papua New Guinea – New Britain
o Papua New Guinea – Milne Bay
o South Australia
o The Great Barrier Reef
o Indonesia

IMAX Under the Sea

Final Thoughts 

Anything short of buying this on Blu-ray is a mistake.  The world recorded on this disc is far too beautiful to be watched on the standard definition of dvd.  IMAX: Under the Sea is a quick, educational film that is the crème de la crème of visual presentation.


Bring home IMAX: Under the Sea today on Blu-ray!



IMAX Under the Sea Blu-ray Cover Art






3 Responses to “IMAX: Under the Sea (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    Why do I have the sudden urge to watch one of my Blu-ray favs?…of course I am talking about INTO THE BLUE

  2. Sandy

    i don’t know if i could get past Jim Carey… hmmmm. kind of like Oprah on the LIFE series that’s been running on Discovery. Looks beautiful though.

  3. Gregg

    Exactly Sandy, although Oprah has a much better voice for narration than Jim Carrey. Both of them aside, I pre-ordered Life on Blu-ray yesterday and chose the version with David Attenborough (who did Planet Earth).