The White Seal (1975) Movie Script

[Narrator]: This is the story
of Kotick the White Seal
and the long voyages he made
through the oceans of the earth
in search of a perfect island--
an island where seals
could be safe forever
from their terrible enemy:
All these things
happened years ago
at a place
called Novastoshnah,
on the island of Saint Paul,
away and away
in the Bering Sea.
Nobody comes to Novastoshnah
except on business,
and the only people who have regular
business there
are the seals...
and those
who hunt the seals.
In the summer months,
by the hundreds and hundreds
of thousands,
the seals come out
of the cold gray sea,
for Novastoshnah has probably the finest
accommodations for seals
of any place in all the world.
Sea Catch was 15 years old,
a huge tawny-fur seal,
whose weight--
if anyone had been foolish enough
fo try and weigh him--
was nearly 700 pounds.
Sea Catch was always ready
for just one more fight
in defense of his home,
but, as there were 40
or 50,000 other bull seals
hunting for the same thing
each spring,
good space
was difficult to find
and even more difficult
fo defend.
The wives wisely
never came to the island
until late in May or in early June,
for they did not care
fo be torn to pieces.
Sea Catch had just finished
his 45th fight that year
when Matkah, his soft,
sleek, gentle-eyed wife,
came up out of the sea.
Oh, it's you-- late as usual.
Where the devil have you been?
How thoughtful of you, dear.
You've taken
the old place again.
I haven't been doing anything but fight for it
since the middle of May.
The beach is disgracefully
crowded this season.
Oh, why can't people
stay where they belong?
You do provide
such a beautiful nursery
for our babies
every year, Sea Catch.
Oh, you're a wonderful husband
and father, too.
Sea Catch...
I do believe...
our baby, our Kotick,
is going to stay white.
Empty clamshells
and dry seaweed!
There has never been
such a thing--
as a white seal.
Well, there is now,
and he's your son.
Come along, darling.
White seal!
Nothing like that ever happened
on my side of the family.
Baby seals cannot swim
when they are born,
but they are unhappy
until they learn,
and so they constantly
move towards the sea.
Practicing in a shallow,
protected cove
under the watchful eye
of his mother,
it took Kotick long weeks of floundering
to learn to use his flippers.
And then, one day,
Kotick found that he truly
belonged to the water,
that he belonged to the sea,
not the land.
Late in October,
the seals leave Saint Paul's
for the deep water,
following the great
fish roads of the sea--
the paths taken forever and ever
by huge schools of fish.
Au revoir, my dear.
See if you can get a decent tan
on that child before next year.
Take care of yourself, dear.
Good-bye, Daddy.
The powerful bulls,
secure in their fat wet suits,
spend the winter
in the icy Alaskan waters,
while the mothers and their young
swim thousands of miles south
past San Francisco,
as far south
as San Diego and Mexico.
And now Kotick's education
really began.
His mother taught him
how to follow the halibut
along the undersea banks
of the North Pacific.
Matkah showed him
where the cod swam
and how to find them.
She showed him
how to wrench the rockling
out of his hole
among the weedy reeds.
And, before leaving him
to learn to survive alone,
she taught him
how to skirt the wrecks
lying a hundred fathoms
below water
so that he could escape
the seals' most terrifying enemy:
the shark.
Kotick soon learned
the important difference
between sharks
and dolphins:
that dolphins have
horizontal or flat tails,
just as do seals,
walrus, sea otters,
and all other sea mammals,
while sharks and all other fish
have vertical
or up-and-down tails.
Hmm, thought Kotick,
flat tail.
This is obviously
a very large dolphin.
But then,
it might just be helpful sometime
to have a dolphin as big
as this one for a friend.
Uh, good day,
Mr. Dolphin, sir?
Dolphin? Dolphin?
I, young man, am 87 feet long.
I weigh 216,000 pounds
13 ounces.
Therefore, I am a whale,
not a dolphin
or a sardine, right?
Right. Oh, very right.
Oh, very, very,
very right indeed. Yes.
Just so we understand
one another.
Now run along. I want to take
a nap for about two weeks.
Good nap-- uh, good night,
uh, sir--
uh, Mr. Dolphin--
Ooh! Mr. Whale!
Then one day,
Kotick saw another strange
but harmless-looking
sea creature.
Kotick, I leave you alone
for a few weeks,
and you almost lose your life.
Never, never ever stop
to look at a boat.
A boat? Lose my--
but it has a flat tail.
Oh, are boats bad--
like sharks?
Boats are the most dangerous things
on the ocean,
because boats carry men.
Men are the most terrible,
most pitiless enemy seals will ever know.
But do men have
up-and-down tails?
How can I keep
away from them?
How do I know them
when I see them?
You will know them,
my darling, because...
they will be dressed
in the skins of dead seals.
But after six more months alone
without setting flipper
on dry land,
after seeing boats
only at great distances,
Kotick had lost all fear
of that mysterious thing called man.
He had grown enormously,
and he was
absolutely certain
that what he did not know about the ocean
wasn't worth knowing.
Hutchinson's Hill
was the exclusive club
of the holluschickie--
the young males--
well away from the beachfront
of the fighting bulls.
And there
they practiced the games
that would make them strong enough
to fight in their day.
What a wonderful life!
The happiest thing in the world
was to be a holluschickie.
The happiest, safest...
the most delightful?
They will be wearing
the skins of dead seals.
Men! Men! Men! Men!
Oh, quickly! Come quickly!
The men are driving
all the holluschickie away!
I think they're
going to skin them.
You can't live without skin.
Oh, nonsense! They'll take
only a few of them.
They've done it for 30 years.
30 years?
A few of them?
What's a few young bulls
more or less?
Too many of them
cluttering up the beach anyway.
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
Stop it! Stop it!
Stop it! Stop it!
Stop! Stop! Stop it!
Stop! Stop it!
Stop it!
Stop! Stop! Stop it!
It-- It can't be.
It's-- It's a white seal.
It's a ghost.
Stop it!
It's the ghost of all the seals
we've ever killed!
Run! It's come back
to haunt us! Run!
Run! Run!
I suppose it is rather awful
from your way of looking at it.
But if you seals
will come here year after year,
of course the men
get to know of it,
and unless you can
find an island
where no man ever comes,
you will always be hunted.
Isn't there any such island,
anyplace we can go and be safe?
Go and ask the Sea Cow.
He would have been
killed off long ago
if he hadn't had a safe place to go
during hunting season.
If he's alive,
he'll know where your island is.
But how shall I recognize
the Sea Cow if I find him?
He's the only thing in the ocean
uglier than a walrus.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
But he's right, my boy.
I am forced to admit it.
You must look
for someone uglier--
oh, dear--
than I am.
When you do,
you will have found the Sea Cow.
Thank you! Thank youl!
I'll find him!
Don't you worry!
I'll find the Sea Cow!
Idealistic young fool!
Why doesn't he grow up
and have a family?
Then the hunters
will leave him alone.
But won't the killing
ever stop, Sea Catch?
As long as it's kept
within reasonable limits,
don't think about it, my dear.
It doesn't agree with me.
But Kotick was determined
to find the Sea Cow, wherever he was,
and through him
to find the perfect island
with good firm beaches
for seals to live on,
where men could not come
with bloody clubs.
Kotick met with more adventures
than can be told,
and narrowly escaped the jaws
of the basking shark,
the great white shark,
the hammerhead.
For five long years,
he searched and dreamed of
at last meeting the Sea Cow,
and then finding
the perfect island,
questioning friendly animals of the sea
wherever he traveled.
He went fo the great barren Galapagos
of the South Pacific.
He went to
the Georgia Islands,
the Orkneys,
Emerald Island,
Little Nightingale Island,
McMurdo Sound,
and the dry Tortugas.
And then, one day,
worn out and ridden
by discouragement,
when he had all but given up...
Yeah. I wonder, sir,
if you've ever met the Sea Cow
in your travels.
Of course I have.
How could I miss
anyone that ugly?
Please, sir, can you
tell me where he is?
Oh, I'll do better than that.
I'll take you to him.
Hang on!
There he is: the Sea Cow.
By the great combers
of Magellan!
He is uglier than the walrus.
Well, I'd call that
an academic matter.
Night after night
and day after day,
Kotick watched the sea cow,
but the sea cow munched
and slurped so slowly along
that Kotick's temper had almost gone
where the dead crabs go.
Then, weeks later,
the Sea Cow suddenly, surprisingly sank
through the shiny water,
sank like a stone,
and to Kotick's astonishment,
began to swim quickly--
so quickly that it was all Kotick could do
to keep up with him.
Absolute tommyrot!
Mystical island?
Mystical poppycock!
- Dreamer!
- Hal Absurd!
- Balderdash!
- Unbelievable!
- Impossible!
- No such thing!
Now, I've done my best for you
these five seasons past.
I found the island
where you'll be safe from man,
but unless your silly heads
are dragged off your silly necks,
you simply won't believe,
so I am going
to teach you now!
Look out for yourselves!
He may be a dreamer,
but he is the best
fighter on the beaches.
Don't tackle your father,
my son. I'm with youl
And that is how the great migration
from Novastoshnah began,
under the leadership
of Kotick and Sea Catch.
And that is why bloody clubs
are found no more on Lukannon Beach.
Son, I'm proud of you,
and I'm proud to be going
with you to your island,
but, uh, it would be even better
if such a place existed.
Every year, year after year,
more and more seals
came to these quiet, sheltered coves,
these sun-struck beaches
where Kotick sits all summer long,
getting bigger and stronger
and fatter each year
in the golden sea...
where no man comes.