Turtle Odyssey (2019) Movie Script

An ancient tale foretells
that our planet
and its future rest on a
turtle's back.
If we lose the turtle,
there would be no earth,
No US.
Today, the story of a sea turtle's
life is just as profound.
On Australia's Great
Barrier Reef,
there's a tropical beach
where one tiny turtle's
big adventure
is about to begin.
This is Bun.
She's a green sea turtle
and today is her birthday.
Out of the hundred eggs she
shared a nest with,
She's the very last
hatchling to emerge.
It will take Bunji a few days to
make it above ground,
and join the other newborns
making their way to the water.
And when Bunji
finally breaks free,
she too has to make a
run for the ocean
Up where she comes from,
Bunji is an indigenous
Australian word for friend.
And she needs one,
because the first thing a
baby turtle sees
is something that
wants to eat it.
Bunji's parents are
roaming the ocean,
meaning she'll have to
fend for herself.
The odds are against her.
And as if the birds
weren't enough,
ghost crabs haunt the
water's edge.
Bunji's going to need all the
luck she can get.
But it's not much safer
in the water.
Just one in every
thousand hatchlings
will survive to maturity.
It will take all of Bunji's
turtle instincts
to make it through,
in one piece.
Sea turtles have an
amazing ability to...
Oh. Mm.
Phew. And all that in just
the first five minutes.
If Bunji makes it to adulthood,
she could live to be over
100 years old.
And in that lifetime,
she will swim many
thousands of miles,
meet incredible creatures,
and have some really
wild encounters.
Welcome to Turtle Odyssey.
It's Bunji's first night in
the vast ocean.
She is small and all alone.
It's all a bit spooky.
She must learn where
danger lurks.
Unlike this cuttlefish,
Bunji isn't as easily
She must discover who's friend,
who's foe,
and who's just passing through.
Let's hope she gets it right.
Bunji is following her instincts
to swim out to open water,
just like marine turtles have
for millions of years.
Sea turtle highways
criss cross the oceans.
Tracking the seven
different species reveals
it's a turtle planet.
In their lifetime, some turtles,
like the leatherback,
will travel over half a
million miles,
that's like swimming to
the moon and back.
Little Bunji is now 300 miles
off the east coast of Australia,
a long way from where
she was born.
For years,
no one knew where
baby turtles went
or how they travelled across
the great oceans
until now.
It turns out they were hitching
rides on rafts of seaweed
and Bunji's found one.
Below, reef sharks and other
large fish prowl.
All hungry for a tasty
turtle treat.
But Bunji is happy in her
floating fortress.
It's safe and warm,
and if she's hungry,
she can even take a bite.
Bunji will catch many of
these free rides.
As the years go by,
she'll be carried along by
the ocean currents.
She'll get bigger,
and bigger,
and bigger.
Until she's so big,
she's large enough
to leave her seaweed sanctuary
and continue her journey
swimming out across the open sea.
Bunji is now a teenager,
with attitude.
Because of her bigger size,
and hard shell,
she's tough enough to head
back to the shallows.
Bunji is now over
600 miles south
from where she was born
and has found a pacific
island paradise.
This is the remote
Lord Howe island.
Here, the rich East
Australian Current
lifts cool waters from
the sea floor
packed with nutrients.
They mix and collect
in the lagoon,
it's teeming with life.
Coral reefs support
millions of species.
This is one of the most
bio-diverse ecosystems
on the planet.
The perfect place for Bunji to
take a bit of a break.
And have a snack.
Although she has no teeth,
her beak is perfect
for pecking tiny algae
off the coral.
Keeping the coral clean
makes turtles a keystone species
as countless other species
depend on healthy coral
for their survival.
She also eats sea grass,
lots of it.
Unlike some teenagers,
Bunji loves her greens.
She's got a big appetite.
Luckily, all this
turtle trimming
allows fresh shoots to grow.
It's just another way she
keeps the ocean healthy
and creates a perfect pasture
for one of the ocean's most
mysterious creatures.
The lives of dugongs and turtles
are intimately linked,
part of a much larger ecosystem
where one species
depends on another.
These dugongs, or sea cows,
are fortunate.
They love eating the
roots exposed
by the turtle trimming.
As the years pass,
Bunji loves to munch on
something else
in this pacific island lagoon.
It's a sea salp.
Sea salps look like
blobs of jellyfish,
but they're not.
They're one of the oldest
creatures in the sea,
one of the first to develop a
central nervous system.
They're an ancient
ancestor of almost
all complex life on the earth,
including us,
and Bunji finds them
rather tasty.
Bunji has been feeding up
for her long journey ahead.
Now an adult,
she's feeling the call to leave
her island paradise
and head toward the mainland
across the vast open sea.
It's an incredible journey
of over 500 miles.
The ocean covers over 70%
of our planet.
It's the world's
richest environment,
yet in places seems
completely devoid of life.
Bunji will swim through these
watery deserts alone.
When she does meet
other creatures,
they'll be travelling in groups.
It's a smart evolutionary
survival strategy.
After all, there's
safety in numbers.
Traveling the ocean solo
Is a risk she'll have to take.
An ancient instinct is
calling Bunji.
There's still a long way to go,
but she is exquisitely evolved
for undersea travel.
Her buoyancy is so fine-tuned,
she moves with the absolute
minimum effort.
Perfectly balanced, she is
weightless in her water world.
Sea turtles cruised the
ancient oceans
over 100 million years ago.
Since then, they have remained
anatomically unchanged.
Bunji is prehistoric perfection,
on a mission.
Strangely, for such an
ancient creature,
the biggest threat to
her survival
is a relative newcomer.
From traditional fishermen
catching them with their hands,
to commercial fishing vessels
often catching them
as unintended
bycatch in their thousands,
a quick getaway speed is
her only defense.
There's still much
work to be done
to protect turtles from humans.
In the last four decades,
the number of turtles injured by
boats has tripled.
And one new threat is
looming ever larger.
In the stomachs of half of
all sea turtles
is plastic waste, and it's
really hurting them.
Turtles have a problem
telling the difference
between plastic and one of their
major food sources,
Don't eat it, Bunji.
If no action is taken,
soon there will more plastic in
the ocean than fish.
Thankfully, some people have
dedicated their lives
to protecting sea turtles.
Dr. Ian Bell is a turtle hero.
He leads a special task force
for the Queensland government.
It's called the
Threatened Species Unit
and today, they're catching
and tagging turtles
to find out more about them.
Combining data from government
agencies and thousands
of volunteers from
around the world,
they've discovered a
staggering fact.
There are now only half as
many sea turtles
in the ocean as there
were 100 years ago.
This small tag will
be a big help,
providing data to
scientists and volunteers
trying to save her species.
Dr. Bell has discovered
that as earth warms,
it's changing the
temperatures of the beaches
where turtles nest, and that
has him concerned.
Because if turtle eggs are laid
in extra warm sand,
all the hatchlings
will be girls.
Less male partners puts the
entire turtle species at risk.
Bunji's ocean home is where
complex life began,
and on which most life
still depends.
Now fully grown, this
truly is her world.
A world we have barely explored.
Filled with wild creatures
that are both weird
and wonderful.
Whose complex
relationships to each other
we're only beginning
to understand.
We know more about the
surface of Mars
than what's hiding out
on our ocean floors.
Who knows what
biological wonders
are yet to be discovered?
The ocean is our
greatest treasure
and our greatest responsibility.
And the remarkable recovery
of one species
provides hope for the continued
survival of the turtle.
From the deep, a
behemoth arises.
Migrating south, this humpback
whale mother and calf
cross Bunji's path.
They're heading to the rich
feeding grounds of the Antarctic.
This big baby weighs in at
over 3,000 pounds,
so Bunji would be wise to
keep her distance.
These whales were once
critically endangered,
hunted almost to extinction.
But then humans heard
their cry for help.
Along the east coast
of Australia,
humpback whale populations have
made a full recovery.
If we did it for these whales,
maybe we can still do it for
the sea turtles.
Let's hope so,
because entire ecosystems rest
on a turtle's back,
and that means an ocean
without turtles
would be a very empty place.
As the whales travel south,
other animals like Bunji
are heading north to
warmer waters.
Dolphins, whales and turtles
have been travelling
these water highways
long before humans
walked the earth.
Catching her breath
at the surface
is where Bunji is in
most danger.
From below,
she stands out
like a turtle target.
This could be a bad
day for Bunji.
Sharks eat turtles.
This great white shark is
over 16 feet long
and could easily make a meal
out of a fully grown turtle.
Bunji is in real danger
but she has a plan.
She takes evasive action,
turning her tough shell
towards her attacker,
diving deep to the sea bed.
Down here, she's camouflaged
against the coral.
To limit their time
at the surface,
turtles have evolved the ability
to reduce the amount of
oxygen they need.
They do this by slowing
their heartbeat down
to one beat every minute.
And that means a
green sea turtle
can stay underwater for
over six hours.
But Bunji can't stay
here forever.
As a cold-blooded reptile,
she needs to return to the
surface and warmer waters.
It's time to catch some
early morning rays.
Some turtles even leave the
water for a spot of sunbathing.
It's often the larger males that
are the sun loungers.
This beach boy will catch
rays all daylong.
He's not aware that
soon he'll play
an important part in
Bunji's epic odyssey.
As for Bunji, time is ticking.
She must get ready
for her big day,
but first she has to
make a quick stop.
Over 100 different
species can be found
living on green sea turtles.
The parasites help keep
her camouflaged
but they also slow her down and
can be quite itchy.
It's time to get some off,
but how do you do that with
flippers for fingers?
She's looking for
something special.
The right spot with the
right sort of fish.
These parrotfish are too big,
and these chromis fish
are too small.
Ah, but these tangs
are just right.
Bunji has found a
cleaning station.
It's a place where smaller fish
feed off the creatures
living on larger animals.
This is known as a
symbiotic relationship.
It's win-win.
The little fish get fed,
and the larger animals like
Bunji get cleaned.
Everybody's happy.
And with a shell as sensitive as
a human fingertip,
she also likes a good scratch,
and a scratch,
and a scratch.
But Bunji's not the only one who
likes a good scrub.
A squadron of rays is about
to hit the station.
These bad boys can
have a wingspan
of over twenty feet,
and weigh up to 3,000 pounds.
That's the same as an
average family car.
So when these guys arrive,
they go right to
the front of the line.
And that means smaller fish,
like this batfish,
get bumped to the back.
Because in nature,
size really does matter.
But Bunji doesn't have
time to wait.
As the currents pick up,
she's being called to her
final destination.
But forces of nature are
rising against her.
Bunji struggles.
Even below the waves, the
currents swirl around her.
With low visibility,
Bunji is using an
invisible force
to guide her to a very
special place.
Bunji's brain can
actually detect
the magnetic fields
of the earth.
Every place on the globe has a
unique magnetic fingerprint.
Bunji uses this
information like a map.
As she gets close, her
map matches that
of her current location.
At last,
she's reached her destination.
She's home.
After 25 years at sea,
she's come back to the very
beach she was born on.
And she's not alone.
The Great Barrier Reef is
host to the biggest
green sea turtle
rookery in the world.
Bunji's big adventure
is one shared
by thousands of other turtles.
All around the world,
green sea turtles are making
similar great migrations
to the beaches where
they were born.
So, this family of turtles
may have been coming back to
this very beach,
generation after generation,
for thousands of years.
It's one of nature's most
astonishing family reunions.
Now it's Bunji's turn
to play her part
in that larger turtle story.
It's time for Bunji
to find a boyfriend.
Once Bunji has mated,
she will remain close to shore
for over a month.
Then, when the time is right,
she'll undertake her most
important task.
It's time for Bunji to leave
her water world.
It will be her toughest
turtle trial.
After a lifetime of
weightlessness in the ocean,
gravity really sucks.
Weighing in at 250 pounds,
Bunji has to
struggle up the same
strip of beach that,
decades before,
she scurried down.
She'll spend the next few hours
digging herself into the sand,
and scooping out a
chamber for her eggs.
It's exhausting work for this
but her instinct is unflagging.
She'll bury her eggs in
the same sand
her mother did over
25 years ago.
The warm sand will
keep them safe
for the next two
or three months.
Finally, she covers her nest
with the gentle care
that only a mother can give.
Laying five or so clutches
every few years,
she will produce thousands of
offspring in her lifetime.
After along night,
she'll return to the
comfort of the sea.
She'll be back,
but for now,
her odyssey is complete.
Three months later,
another chapter
in the turtle tale begins.
A new generation of tiny turtle
toddlers are popping up.
It's time for Bunji's
little babies
to take on the challenges of
the turtle odyssey.
I'm walking on sunshine
I'm walking on sunshine
I'm walking on sunshine
And don't it feel good
And don't it feel good