Disney murders a crab

Disney Nature has a new IMAX documentary out titled, ‘Oceans‘. A quick survey of the reviews of the film indicates that a mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus, is a part of the most memorable sequence of the film. Here is a clip of the mantis shrimp’s scene, (available in 1080p on Youtube). Near the beginning there is a really nice shot of the pseudopupil (the facets of the eye looking directly at the observer).

I, however, have a couple criticisms of this sequence. First off, this was almost definitely shot in an aquarium. Secondly, what is it with IMAX movie makers and repeatedly pushing animals towards stomatopod burrows until they lash out? Similarly to the sequence from ‘Deep Sea 3D’ where an octopus is forced to approach the burrow of a Hemisquilla californiensis, the mantis shrimp in this video shows no interest in predating the crab. He just seems to be trying to get the crab away from his hole. Normally, the crab would surely oblige if it wasn’t for the Disney filmmakers repeatedly pushing it back.

I can’t help but be reminded of Disney’s ‘White Wilderness‘ documentary where the filmmakers pushed lemmings off a cliff into the ocean in order to convince people, incorrectly, that lemmings engaged in suicidal behavior. They are quite a viscous bunch over in the Magic Kingdom.

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2 Responses to “Disney murders a crab”


  1. 1 Ted C. MacRae April 24, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Wow, those pseudopupils are crazy!

  2. 2 Emma Freeman April 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    That’s really messed up. You would think the wonders of the natural world would be enough as they are, but Disney feels they have to make it more of a brutal spectacle to engage an audience’s interest.


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I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

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