Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
|Featuring:||Chris Branning (Himself), Graham Brant-Zawadzki (Himself), Chris Clark (Himself), Charlie Enright (Himself), Jesse Fielding (Himself), Robbie Kane (Himself), Steve Manson (Himself), Chris Schubert (Himself), Kate Theisen (Herself), Mark Towill (Himself), Genny Tulloch (Herself), Pieter van Os (Himself), Chris Welch (Himself), Kit Will (Herself), Jeremy Wilmot (Himself)|
|Producer:||Walt Disney Pictures, Leslie DeMeuse, Roy Edward Disney, Morgan Sackett, Phil Uhl|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
“A 2500 mile journey that will change the course of their lives forever.”
“Morning Light” is a documentary about the fifteen young amateur sailors selected by Disney from over five hundred to vie for the chance to crew the high-tech Morning Light in perhaps the most revered sailing competition on Earth, the Transpac or Transpacific Yacht Race.
Beginning in January of 2007 the film chronicles both the six months of intense training needed to prepare as well as the 10-day Transpac race.
One by one we get to meet the ‘kids’ aged 18 to 23, learn why they are there and just how incredible the obstacles they encounter are to them considering none of them have ever sailed a whole ocean before.
The main driving force behind the film was Roy E. Disney who, having raced the TransPac sixteen times previously, has two wins to his credit. From producer to still photographer, outside of the kids he has the most vested in this race and it shows. With no exaggeration he tells them that if any of them fall overboard they should consider it a death sentence.
Questionable content is limited to some language use that includes the use of a few variations of A#$ including “bad ___”, “get kicked on your ___”, “hauling ___”. One character describes himself as being a “lucky bas___d”.
One of the sailors, Jesse, says, “The best way to overcome fear is to face it head on.” Throughout the Bible, the Word of God, from Deuteronomy to Revelation, speaks often of fear and reminds us to only fear the Lord. The apostle John speaks of how living in love is the same as living in God and that one of the benefits of knowing you are saved is the realization that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (John 4:18).
Only one of the final eleven selected was a woman and she comments that she felt like one of the guys, a sentiment echoed by her shipmates. In essence they became a brotherhood united by a single purpose without which they would stand no chance of victory. Psalm 33 speaks of the blessings and joy of such a thing, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity” (Psalm 33:1).
“Morning Light,” as a documentary, showcases well the experiences of the crew especially throughout the week and a half long race but falters as a gripping theatrical feature. The production is much more reminiscent of the weekly Sunday specials that Disney used to show on TV. Moreover, ‘Light’s’ story is too niche to appeal to a broad demographic and will bore most outside of sailing enthusiasts. As for the young adult audience, usually fans of ‘reality’ content and not so much of documentaries, they will most likely walk away from the film indifferent.
Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.