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 the remote islands of 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, Humpback Whales is directed by Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins, Everest) and produced by Shaun MacGillivray (To The Arctic, Grand Canyon Adventure). Filmed with 15perf / 65mm IMAX® cameras, Humpback Whales is written and edited by Stephen Judson (Everest, To The Arctic) with a musical score by Steve Wood (Journey to the South Pacific, To The Arctic).  A One World One Ocean production.

Length: 40:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 2015
  • Date Released:

    February 13, 2015

  • Alternate Titles:
  • Status: In Distribution
  • 3D: Yes
  • Run Time: 31-50
  • Formats: 15/70, DCI-compliant Digital, IMAX Digital, Dome-customized 15/70
  • Distributor:

    MacGillivray Freeman Films

  • Produced By:

    MacGillivray Freeman Films

  • Executive Producer:
  • Producer: Shaun MacGillivray
  • Director:  Greg MacGillivray
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Steve Judson
  • Cinematography: Brad Ohlund (director of photography), Howard Hall (director of underwater photography)
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects:
  • Music/Score:  Steve Wood
  • Editor: Steve Judson
  • Narrator: Ewan McGregor
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors: Pacific Life, One World One Ocean Foundation, MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation


  • Animals
  • Nature
  • Oceanography


Film website


  • Best Film–Short Subject, GSCA 2015 Achievement Awards
  • Best Film for Lifelong Learning, GSCA 2015 Achievement Awards
  • Best Cinematography, GSCA 2015 Achievement Awards
  • Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor, GSCA 2015 Achievement Awards

Film Facts