Galapagos (3D IMAX)
Review by Ross Anthony

Want to scuba, but don't want to shell out the money for lessons, equipment, and travel? For about the rental price of a snorkle and goggles "Galapagos" brings the experience to you - and you don't even have to get wet!

Marine Biologist Dr. Carole Baldwin descends thousands of feet into the ocean to get her high, "I don't know whether to be excited or terrified. And then I remember how privileged I am to be here. With only about one percent of the ocean floor explored, the deep sea is Earth's last great frontier."

But before we go under, the 240-pound IMAX 3D camera (like a fishering net) scoops up the rich surface animals of the Galapagos Islands. Hundreds of sun basking marine iguanas become jagged rocks as our aerial shot widens. Crystal blue water crashes into porously gloss black shoreline as sidestepping crabs go under and reappear. Mossy turtles slurp up seaweed like spaghetti as carefree seals flip and twist.

Dr. Baldwin swims with the absolutely huge schools of impartial fishes while a loose-necked group of hammerheads converge. We're swimming too, navigating the underwater currents with the back-flipping seals while the appropriately large and swelling music caps the experience off as simply spiritual.

Having been the first to chronicle these islands 600 miles west of Ecuador, Charles Darwin would have been a mossy phosphorescent green with envy watching as Dr. Carole Baldwin (3000 feet underwater) vacuum-gathers samples off the ocean floor from inside the Johnson-Sea-Link Submersible.

The film's only fault: about fifteen percent of the time the images don't quite mesh, leaving unsightly ghosts as the two separate film projections overlap with a shift. A mar that is overwhelmingly forgivable for a production that makes wide and fertile usage of 3D technology.

Rich in color, dimension, education, entertainment and reverence; you're kids will be reaching out toward the screen, their mouths round with the word "Wow" repeating over and over. It's as if the theater becomes an aquarium leaving you to swim with the finned animals. I was surprised I left the screening dry.

  • Galapagos (3D IMAX). Copyright © 2000. Rated G.
  • Starring Dr. Carole Baldwin of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.
  • Directed by AL Giddings and David Clark.
  • Written by David and Barry Clark.
  • Produced by AL Giddings and David Clark at Mandalay Media Arts.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:50 PDT