'Secrets of the Whales' debuts Earth Day on Disney+

PHILADELPHIA -- A fascinating National Geographic docuseries called "Secrets of the Whales" premieres on Disney+ Thursday.

The incredible four-part series follows various whale species across 24 locations around the globe.

The project is a love letter to our oceans, our planet and the beautiful species.

"It is the most ambitious project of my career," award-winning wildlife photographer Brian Skerry said. "I've been with National Geographic for 23 years and exploring the world's oceans for over four decades."

Executive produced by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron and narrated by Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver, the series is split into four episodes focusing individually on orcas (killer whales), humpbacks and belugas, with the final episode featuring both sperm whales and narwhals.

"When you see them underwater, you see that they have rich lives and complex behaviors," Skerry said. "We looked at their culture, their ancestral traditions and how they pass them on, but also the emotions that they exhibit, their personality, joy and grief and gameplay. They have singing competitions and all of these really cool things that mirror human society in many ways."

Skerry also found that where geography changes, so does whale culture.

"Whales are doing things differently depending on where in the world they live, or what they've been taught by other generations," he said. "To me, that was a bit of a game-changer."

He filmed before the pandemic and says the lessons he learned were truly powerful.

"During this last year, I reflected on those moments with the whales," Skerry said. "What I realized is that the whales taught me or reminded me of what I already know, and that is that family is important, community is important. We need each other."

National Geographic's "Secrets of the Whales" premieres exclusively on Disney+ on Thursday, April 22.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of National Geographic Partners and this ABC station.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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