Secrets of the Whales: The Newest Earth Day Series

An adult orca pursues herring in the frigid waters off Norway's Atlantic coast. (National Geographic for Disney+/Luis Lamar)

Rather than launch a new Disneynature film, Disney+ turns to James Cameron and National Geographic for Secrets of the Whales.

It was only a matter of time before Disney, through its National Geographic unit, released a documentary on whales. The thing is–there is so much content here that it’s not limited to a single film. Instead, the newest Earth Day feature is a documentary series. The four episodes run close to 50 minutes in length, each with its own focus.

Through four episodes, we meet and get to know orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals and sperm whales. Personally, I enjoy any documentary that gets orcas up front and center. Preferably, ones that don’t feature them in captivity or being hunted. You have Free Willy to thank for that.

The series features stupendous footage taken through the course of four episodes. Underwater footage will never cease to amaze me. It’s certainly easier getting close to whales than lions. Meanwhile, the series itself is educational on many fronts. While beluga clans trek to the Canadian Arctic, they don’t just give birth but they give themselves names. This enables them to keep track. Moreover, the newborns share their mother’s call signs.

Secrets of the Whales manages to catch a sperm whale calf feeding on camera. Beyond this, adoption isn’t only limited to humans! A beluga whale pod adopts a narwhal as one of their own. Please make sure to watch the series to learn even more!

James Cameron appears briefly on camera in episodes but this series truly benefits from Brian Skerry. He’s a National Geographic explorer and photographer. Sigourney Weaver narrates when they aren’t talking. Anyway, the film takes place over the course of three years in 24 locations. It’s epic in that regard and we learn so much more about whales. Are they more like us than we think? You’ll just have to tune in and find out!

With its stupendous footage, Secrets of the Whales is educational and you just might fall in love with these majestic creatures.

DIRECTORS: Brian Armstrong, Andy Mitchell
NARRATOR: Sigourney Weaver
FEATURING: Brian Skerry, James Cameron

Disney+ launches Secrets of the Whales on April 22, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.