Ian Anderson 8:30 p.m., Sept. 23
SeaWorld ushers in new motion picture division
It's not just about theme parks and penguin cams anymore as the newly formed SeaWorld Pictures today announced the hatching of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey.” The 3D family documentary is directed by "National Geographic Explorer’s" Nick Stringer.
The 81-minute-long feature follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatching to maturity on a 9,000 mile journey to its original Florida nesting grounds. Stringer and his camera crew spent two years shadowing turtles on their trips across the ocean.
The film, narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, will have its world premiere in San Diego on Tuesday, June 21, followed by openings at SeaWorld locations in San Antonio and Orlando as well as theaters in New York and L.A.
I have visited SeaWorld but once in my life. Here's a shock: it was for a movie, Joe Dante's 4D extravaganza "Haunted Lighthouse." Shot in 70mm and two-strip 3D the 30-minute interactive short spritzed water in audiences' faces, blew wind through their hair, rocked patrons back and forth in their seats and - in loving tribute to legendary 60s schlockmeister William Castle - gave the crowd a tingle, thanks to buzzing vibrators planted beneath each chair.
Dante is a director whose work I hold in high esteem so what better reason to visit sunny SeaWorld than to lock myself in a pitch-black movie theater? "Gremlins" was in part responsible for the advent of the PG-13 rating, so it should come as no surprise that "Haunted Lighthouse" is considerably darker than most theme park fare. Based on a beloved children's book by R.L. Stine, it tells the story two lonely ghost kids trapped in a lighthouse and longing to recast a pair of vacationing children into dead playmates. Not exactly "Sesame Street 4D." If you didn't get a chance to see it you have no one to blame but yourself. The film ended its five-year run in May of 2008.
“Turtle: The Incredible Journey” offers families (and hardcore students of stereoscopic cinematography) another chance to catch a movie at SeaWorld.