A poetic masterpiece as beautiful, complex, and fascinating as the coral it depicts, Canary of the Ocean is about as enjoyable a time as you're going to have in front of a TV screen. A surefire hit for children and adults alike, this complex and very emotional video is told from the perspective of filmmaker Miranda Smith, whose grandmother taught her a profound respect for the oceans and the interconnectedness of life around the world. "Why do we call it Earth," her grandmother asked, "when its surface is 70% water, almost like our very own bodies?"

As we watch, in rapt attention, Miranda's childhood world of mermaids, clear water and coral wonderland is stripped away by pollution, cynical tourism, commercial fishing, and the uncontrolled development of the Florida Keys. Like Miranda's innocent childhood, the coral she loves is alive and vulnerable. It behaves like bone tissue, covering sensitive organisms inside called polyps. Like a barometer of the health of an ocean, coral is the first organism to fail, and 50% of the world's coral is dead or dying. The program identifies the fish who act as police, garbage collectors, gardeners and fashion magnates around the reefs; introduces Harold Hudson, a self styled "reef doctor" who makes house calls on the coral to treat a variety of diseases; and offers Miranda Smith's marvelous narration (delivered by actress Andie MacDowell) and thoughtful observation about why reefs are in decline around the globe.

If you find yourself shedding a tear at the end of this personal testimonial as I did, just remember that, as Miranda's grandmother once said, "each tear is just a drop of the ocean trying to get back home." A great addition to any quality collection. Irresistible.

Video Librarian