Disneynature takes to high seas

Acquires distribution rights to 'OceanWorld 3D'

Disneynature has acquired North American and Mexican distribution rights to the underwater film "OceanWorld 3D," which promises to be the first feature-length nature documentary filmed and released in 3-D.

This deal marks the first collaboration between Disneynature and 3D Entertainment, a company founded in 2001 to produce story-driven 3-D experiences for audiences of all ages.

"OceanWorld," a presentation by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was directed and produced, respectively, by veteran filmmakers Jean-Jacques and Francois Mantello. They have made such water-themed 3-D movies as "Sharks 3D," "Ocean Wonderland 3D" and "Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean."

The 85-minute film premiered at Cannes last month. It will be released theatrically in France and Russia in August; its North American unveiling will come later.

The film, which has viewers guided by a sea turtle from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Mexico's Roca Partida Island, is the result of seven years of production, 25 international expeditions and 200 hours of 3-D footage shot in the wild.

The Disney's label's first film, "Earth," opened in April in the U.S. and has grossed more than $106 million worldwide.

Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Stuart Kemp reported from London.