Every month in our parent-participation school program, the parents organize a field trip and take a group of kids on a field trip. This past Friday we decided our adventure would be a trip to the Imax theater to see Dolphins. I have always enjoyed the Imax, but it had been several years since I had gone to an Imax movie. In general I have found that they are pretty expensive and the movies are generally fairly short, so I tend to choose other movies when we go out. This time we got a discount since we were a school group, and Dolphins seemed like a good choice for an afternoon excursion.
The theater was filled with school kids, about 300 of them. Our group was fairly small, just eight kids and three adults. We sat down and waited for the movie to being. I was amazed by the size of the screen; I think it always is an impressive sight to see in and of itself.
When the movie started I had a sinking feeling as it began with a woman narrating about her dreams. While this is not a problem for me, I was immediately worried about the movie keeping the attention of the kids, who range in age from first grade up through sixth. My fears were soon allayed, however, as the movie began in earnest.
This was my first experience seeing dolphins up close and personal. The movie is fast-paced and awesome! The scenery shots are fantastic, even when they come in at an angle and leave that breathless feeling in the observers. I know people who can't go to Imax movies because they end up feeling sick to their stomachs afterward, but fortunately none of us fell prey to this particular problem.
Dolphins are highly personable and extremely intelligent creatures. The movie lasted about 45 minutes I think, and during this time the audience gets to know several dolphins and the scientists who are studying them quite well. The action scenes are very well done, and this movie is one of those that is an excellent source of educational learning as well as great enjoyment.
Tears filled my eyes at one point when they showed video of dolphins being caught and dying in tuna nets, reinforcing my opinion of not buying tuna that is *not* dolphin safe. I also felt emotional when one of the human characters had to leave his dolphin friend for a four month period, feeling sorry for the dolphin not knowing that he had not been abandoned. The intelligence of dolphins was clearly illustrated in this movie, and created new insight in learning to communicate with other creatures.
Wild dolphins are quite different from tame dolphins. The movie explains that it is illegal in the United States to swim with wild dolphins, and I am sure this is partly because they are potentially dangerous creatures. Other enjoyable parts of the movie include seeing tame dolphins performing for their caretakers, and there is even a scene of a birth of a baby dolphin.
The children and adults both left this movie with a new understanding of the need to protect other creatures in our environment and to make sure that they are treated well. I would love to go and see this movie again. This was one of our more enjoyable field trips, and made for a very pleasant afternoon. The children were delighted with the experience and talked all the way back to the school about what they had learned. In my eyes, combining education with enjoyment makes all the difference in creating a nurturing learning environment for our children. This experience also will help the children understand how important it is to take care of our environment. After all, they are the ones who will be in charge in just a few short years.
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