Samantha Ellis, Global Animal

The Whale documents the beautiful story of Luna, an orca who wandered away from his family and into the hearts of people around the world. In the film one person said “How could you not touch the whale?” But my question is, how could you not be touched by The Whale?

This visually striking film highlights the connection that Luna forged with everyone he met in Nootka Sound, Canada. The little whale’s big personality and love of logs, water hoses, and his human friends was evident every second he was on camera.

While the filmmakers strove to avoid anthropomorphizing Luna, the movie makes it easy to see from the way he interacted with people that he experienced emotions similar to ours. He obviously craved attention, and when he didn’t get it, Luna would go and find some – sometimes getting him into trouble. This film proves that you do not need to be the same gender, race, or even species to be able to communicate. While there was debate over what was best for Luna, there was no question about what he wanted – love and friendship. 

Luna’s personality, playfulness, and determination to make friends demonstrates that whales have an emotional intelligence that feels human. In a situation where most people would have given up, he made the best of it, and he rallied the world to support and love him in a way that no human ever could.

Luna says hello to a friendly dog. Photo Credit: Seattle Times

While the film never overtly tells the audience to view whales as our equals, nor does it have a direct call to end whaling, it does show Luna as a friend, not as food. This documentary will open your eyes, showing whales to be intelligent beings with complex cultures and intricate social lives, much like our own.

This movie beautifully shows us that we can learn from animals like whales. Don’t miss this rare, intimate and moving glimpse into one whale’s emotional life.


We give The Whale 4 out of 5 paws.


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