Out of the vast universe of nature documentaries, I don’t think I’m alone in finding films about life under the sea to occupy a special place. The very fact that they exist, of course, is amazing — though when you watch one, part of the wonder is that you’re not thinking about how aquamarine filmmakers actually hovered in the ocean depths to shoot this stuff. Jacques Cousteau, the pioneer of the genre, liked to place himself at the center of things, but the creators of “Dolphin Reef
,” a Disneynature
doc that drops on Disney Plus on April 3, simply get out of the way and let the ancient creatures of the sea seduce us with their surreal evolutionary form-follows-function wild splendor.
Shot around an idyllic chain of small Polynesian islands, “Dolphin Reef” does indeed trace the rituals, movements, and sheer shining beauty of a pod of bottlenose Pacific dolphins.