Follow Sammy the turtle on his journey across oceans in search of the love of his life.
THE adventurous life of sea turtle Sammy and his search for true love takes centre stage in 3D animated movie, Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage.
The heart-warming story is about Sammy (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) who scrambles to the sea shortly after hatching out of his shell on a Californian beach. He falls for a hatchling sea turtle named Shelly (Jenny McCarthy) but loses her upon falling onto an old raft which gets carried out to the open ocean.
Far from being a superhero, Sammy is an ordinary turtle who has had some extraordinary adventures. He was born in 1959 on a California beach and since then, has travelled the world’s oceans for 50 years.
On his long voyage of discovery, he runs into many dangers such as having to battle piranhas and fish eagles.
He becomes the mascot for a hippy community, discovers how humans are destroying the environment by polluting rivers and seas and witnesses the splashdown of Apollo 11 in the Pacific Ocean. And, one day, after all his adventures and close shaves, Sammy manages to find Shelly.
Interestingly, Belgian film director/ producer Ben Stassen was inspired to create the movie after witnessing the hatching of newborn turtles while vacationing in Mexico a few years ago.
“At sunset, I saw a group of hotel employees who were transporting a clutch of turtle eggs in the process of hatching. While watching these baby turtles taking their first steps towards the sea and being washed back onto the beach by waves, I was informed these hatchlings stay on the ocean’s surface for the first 10 years of their life. When I saw the reactions of children and adults, I thought it would make a great 3D animation,” explained Stassen in a press release provided by Golden Screen Cinemas.
Stassen explained the movie focuses on Sammy’s epic 50-year journey and determination to succeed in life.
“When he hatched, Sammy was so tiny he couldn’t heave himself out of the nest. But he’s a fighter. He is determined to succeed in his mission, no matter what, and nothing’s going to stop him,” said Stassen, whose directing efforts include Encounter In The Third Dimension and Fly Me To The Moon.
The movie also serves as an educational tool where it emphasises on environmental issues like destruction and pollution – the main causes of the sea turtle’s decline.
“The film’s ‘heroes’ gave us a chance to tackle questions about important environmental issues like destruction of underwater life, climate change and pollution.
“Granted, we don’t offer answers to these problems, but in raising awareness among our young audience, we have a chance to take a small step in the right direction.
“When Sammy and his friends are confronted by an oil slick, they realised that human beings are strange creatures – some turn the oceans into dumping grounds while others are busy trying to clean them up.
It’s the same for the whale hunting scenes in which there are some who harpoon whales and others who’ll do anything they can to try and stop them,” said Stassen, touted as one of the world’s most successful exponents of the 3D format.
He is also founder of nWaves Pictures, a company that produces 3D/4D content.
True to his reputation, Stassen and his team worked hard to meet technical or artistic challenges in producing this film.
“3D is the second revolution in the history of cinema. It can be viewed as a totally new cinematographic language.
“When an audience watches a 3D movie, the sensation of immersion experienced is 10 times more powerful than with regular films.
“They are plunged right into the very heart of the filmic space and have a feeling of total physical osmosis.”
According to Stassen, the biggest challenge in creating the film was having to come up with a 3D movie which takes place entirely under the ocean.
“Animating organic matter (like water) was extremely complex despite using computer-aided animation techniques. Technically, it was a nightmare to create this film with an international scope and limited budget.”
Swim with Sammy: You, too, can be part of the adventures of a young turtle in the 3D animated movie, Sammy’s Adventures:TheSecretPassage.
The story of the hatchling serves to educate the young about how pollution is affecting their survival.