On magnificent 4K Ultra HD and Bluray from director Jean-Michel Cousteau and 3D Entertainment Films comes a piece by the most trusted name to talk about WONDERS OF THE SEA.
The Cousteau family is a name synonymous with the ocean beginning with Jacques Cousteau who was a French Naval Officer who became a conservationist and filmmaker studying life under the sea. Many people might not know, as I didn’t, that Cousteau also helped to develop the aqua-lung allowing for longer and deeper ocean dives. Through his research he wrote books and brought the ocean into our living rooms with a series I saw growing up called The Undersea world of Jacques Cousteau.
Now his son Jean-Michel and his children Celine and Fabien are following in their father’s scuba-steps to show us more of the fascinating creatures that live under the sea. Narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger who is himself an professed environmentalist, the film follows the Cousteau’s from Fiji to the Bahamas (and even a stop at Catalina Island), the film is “an important educational and ecological component, which is emphasize throughout [the film] in a subtle and non-aggressive manner”.
The idea is put forth that without the ocean we cannot live because 50% of the oxygen on the earth is provided by the sea and it also absorbs thirty percent of all the man made Co2. Cousteau says, “When you protect the ocean you protect yourself and future generations.”
All of this is incredibly important and this documentary allows viewers to see the wonder, beauty and even comedy of the creatures that depend on the ocean for their survival. They are colorful, mystical, hilarious, endearing and so stunningly beautiful that it is impossible to not want to pick up every piece of anything floating in the ocean. I tell my granddaughter on our walks along the shore when we see trash, “how would you like to live with that in your home?” and she understands the importance. It may seem a small thing but if everyone did a small thing it would easily become a big thing!
The Cousteau’s bring to us all the wonder that is the ocean but they also bring something else – a bit of themselves. Talking through the documentary, each telling their story along with Schwarzenegger, the viewer has a chance to know these conservationists on a family level and discover what motivates them to continue with Jacques Cousteau’s original work.
The bonus features of the disc include Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Making of WONDERS OF THE SEA, and Music Video: Heart of the Ocean.
WONDERS OF THE SEA is eighty one minutes of information and visuals that are absolutely clear, colorful and tell stories about the creatures we know so little about. It is a way to understand why people are concerned with what is happening below the water line. We all tend to take the ocean for granted, especially where I live because it’s right in front of me daily. People walk along the sand, fish, swing and surf never truly taking a moment to realize the life that is below and the effect that climate change and pollution have.
I truly believe this documentary should be shown in schools everywhere as a teaching tool to introduce students at a young age to a bigger, wetter world. There is a generation that is coming into their own about the world around them and this is a chance to see how many of them might see themselves in a wet suit swimming alongside a Cousteau in the future!
On a side note, in 1975, singer/songwriter John Denver wrote a song Calypso after Jacques Cousteau’s mini-craft and the lines of the song says, “To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, To ride on the crest of a wild raging storm, To work in the service of life and living, In search of the answers to the questions unknown, To be part of the movement and part of the growing, Part of beginning to understand, Aye Calypso the places you’ve been to, The things that you’ve shown us, The stories you tell, Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit, The men who have served you so long and so well”. I couldn’t have sung it better myself!
In the end – there is so much to wonder about in the sea!

Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from directors Lynne Southerland and Paulette Victor-Lifton and SHOUT! Kids Factory comes a new twist to a fairytale we all know as CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE.
Ella (Cassandra Lee Morris) is taking care of her step-mother and two step-sisters but also of the creatures that live in the home. Her three furry mice friends, Alex (Chris Niosi), Manny (R. Martin Klein) and Walt (Tony Azzolino) have started her day with a little bit of trouble in the kitchen. It doesn’t last long when it is announced that there is to be a ball at the castle where the prince is looking for a wife.
No interest in it at all, Ella is encouraged by the mice to attend and take a chance that she might be the next princess to the kingdom. Her thoughts turn to what to wear when it is suggested that they seek out the fairy godmother who lives in the woods for guidance. Once there, they can’t find the fairy but instead her apprentice named Crystal (Kirsten Day). At first she doesn’t seem interested but then realizes it’s much more fun than standing around doing nothing.
At the ball she dances with the prince but the mice and Crystal seek out the kitchen. Instead they find that there is a Witch (Wendee Lee) practicing evil! In fact they discover that Alex isn’t really a mouse – he is the rightful prince to the kingdom. Telling Ella what is happening they decide to find the one thing that could restore Alex and reclaim the kingdom from evil.
They are going to have to act fast because the Witch isn’t about to give up quite so easily!
Morris as Ella lends her voice to this delightful character who finds herself on an adventure of a lifetime. Ella is fun, has a sense of humor but also knows when an injustice has been done and wants to help make it right. There is nothing better than a strong young girl who sees her world as an opportunity to do right by all.
Niosi as Alex is a young man who has had his life taken by the greed of another. It is meeting Ella that sets in motion all the decisions he makes and the ultimate decision that may change everything he has come to love.
Klein and Azzolino as Manny and Walt are charming, funny, and have no problem admitting when they aren’t comfortable doing something. Of course if there are snacks involved you can get a little more out of them!
Day as Crystal doesn’t start off as the happiest of people as she is looking for her mentor with no luck. Understanding that she can be friends with Ella, Alex, Manny and Walt opens up the doors for relationships she has been lacking and becomes a trusted friend. Lee as the Witch is scary and, well, for a better term a pretty nasty person. Taking away Alex’s life for her own greed certainly qualifies as a nasty person but she goes after them all to make sure she keeps what she thinks is hers.
Other cast include Stephen Mendel as Olaf, Terrence Stone as the Eagle and Stephanie Sanditz as Step-mother.
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.
CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE is heartwarming, entertaining, funny and, of course, enchanting. This is a twist on the classic story with a witch that makes Ella’s step-mother seem tame by comparison. The focus clearly is on Ella’s friendships and her meeting the mouse-prince. Their goal is to make things right in a world that has been forced into evil by someone the prince trusted.
It is a story of friendship, loyalty, adventure, doing right no matter the cost and a little bit of love as well. That is why families enjoy these story’s. We want to sit with our family and enjoy a film that is fun but also teaches lessons that everyone can embrace.

In the end – it is a tale of friendship and love wrapped in magic!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.