Humpback Whales

A whale-sized adventure on the giant screen

Narrated by two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.

A MacGillivray Freeman film presented by Pacific Life

A One World One Ocean production

Narrated by Ewan McGregor

Release date: 2015

Runtime: 40 minutes

Format: filmed in 15 perforation/70 mm

Awards and Recognition

Best Film Short Subject, Best Cinematography, Best Film for Lifelong Learning and Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor—2015 Giant Screen Cinema Association Achievement Awards

Gold World Medal, Documentary Category—2016 New York Festivals World’s Best TV and Film

Blue Monaco Ocean Film Festival—2015 Finalist

Grays Reef Ocean Film Festival—2016 Official Selection

Waimea Ocean Film Festival—2016 Official Selection

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival—2015 Nominee for Best Immersive Film

US Department of State and Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Our Ocean Embassy Showcase—Shown as a part of a global embassy showcase of ocean related films in 20 + countries

“A whale of a nature doc… Humpback Whales is a prime example of the power of large-format documentaries to educate, delight and inspire…MacGillivray and his intrepid crew capture close encounters that lend the whales’ story a relatable intimacy.”
-Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“Some animals were simply made for the big screen…Humpback Whales turns natural behaviors into supersized encounters- one does quite literally feel it’s possible to reach out and touch the 50-foot giants onscreen. The whales are the true stars here and they look and sound simply magnificent”
-Geoff Berkshire, Daily Variety

“I’ve long been a fan of IMAX nature documentaries, but Humpback Whales, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is something special”
-Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

Humpback Whales offers stunning shots that are both intimate and immense…it offers the kind of awe-inspiring sequences that CGI can only dream of.”
-Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

Humpback Whales fires on all cylinders. Upbeat, informative and immersive in its glorious 3-D and IMAX, the movie puts us up close with these majestic 55-foot long, 40-ton giants in their gorgeous habitats…Every whale looks and sounds incredible in Humpback Whales…worth the journey.”
-Stephen Rebello, Playboy

Available Formats

  • 15/70 Film
  • Non-IMAX Digital 2D
  • Non-IMAX Digital 3D
  • IMAX Laser 2D
  • IMAX Laser 3D
  • Full-Dome Digital

Language Versions

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Dutch
  • Latin-American Spanish
  • Any other language made to order