REVIEW: Dolphin Reef and Elephant
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Today, Disney+ released two Disneynature documentaries - Dolphin Reef, narrated by Natalie Portman, and Elephant, narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.
In Dolphin Reef, we follow a three year old bottle nose dolphin named Echo who just loves to play, despite his mother's trying to get him focus on survival. If he cannot catch his own food, he won't be able to eat. Along the way, he must navigate and avoid likely predators such as Tiger Sharks and Orcas.
In Elephant, we follow a herd led by the matriarch Gaia. Her sister Shanti has given birth to an adorable baby Jomo. Jomo was be protected and shown the ropes on being an elephant by his elders. This herd must travel across the Savannah in search of life saving water. By instinct, the herd finds water in, sometimes the most unlikely of places, including chewing on the bark of a water filled Baobao tree.
At first, the two documentaries couldn't be any far apart. One takes place off the lush coral reef of a Polynesian island while the other takes place in the harsh expanse of the African Savannah. But, upon closer observation, the documentaries couldn't be closer. Both are about family and how these animals learn from each other to thrive and, hopefully, bring in the next generation that will take the same journeys.
It is remarkable being able to see these majestic creatures in the wild and observe their behavior. For example, the mud ringing in Dolphin Reef where the dolphins create an almost mud net to catch fish is fascinating to watch. And it is touching to see in Elephant when the herd finds the skeletal remains of another elephant and the reverence they had for it as if to mourn it.
Each documentary comes with a making of film that shows how filmmakers were able to get up and close to the animals. They're well worth the watch as you will be treated to some of the most beautiful photography.
From African Cats to Penguins, Disneynature has always put out quality product and these two films are wonderful additions to this rich collection of nature documentaries. If you are looking for something to watch with your kids, I highly recommend putting one of both of these on this weekend.