Meet a seagull named Jonathan. As a seagull, it is evident that Jonathan is not like the rest of his kind. He has a different attitude and a unique outlook on life and the world surrounding him. Jonathan is also a skilled flyer and enjoys experimenting with his speed and his wings. He sees how other seagulls act when fighting over food and desires to be something far more significant. Because Jonathan is different and does not fit in with other seagulls, he is judged, and at the end of his trial, he is banished from the clan. Jonathan is now alone, flying across the land, seeking an adventure that could take him anywhere. As he flies, he will encounter challenges and threatening creatures.
James Franciscus voiced Jonathan, and we hear his every thought. Some sequences contain no dialogue but are simply Jonathan or others like him interacting with one another or flying around in the skies. At the same time, a track from Neil Diamond and Lee Holdridge’s orchestral score plays over it. This film can be classed as a family drama and is rated G.
The film’s visuals are pleasing, and there is undoubtedly some great footage of seagulls and other elements of nature. For a 1973 feature film, it would have been a severe challenge to capture such outstanding footage on camera. While some moments have been edited with fake Seagulls instead of real ones, I still found plenty to enjoy visually. The film’s audio track is a mixed bag for me. The sound effects are pleasing, but Neil Diamond’s soundtrack lacked some punch on the recently re-released Blu-ray. The narration from Jonathan himself is also quietly spoken, and I thought it was an unusual choice to narrate in such a way for this film.
Overall, this will not be everyone’s type of film, but I feel a selected audience will enjoy it. Granted, a talking seagull who is kicked out for being different is unlike anything I have seen before. Some moments are pretty engaging, and others are relatively slow. The film’s soundtrack, delivered by Neil Diamond, like the film’s plot, will also be pleasing to a select audience. The visuals are nice, but the audio quality of the soundtrack and narration was disappointing as it lacked punch and quality. The film’s pace was also challenging, but lovers of nature (especially seagulls) will have a different experience and opinion. It’s clear the filmmakers have taken big risks in bringing a film like this to life, and there is still an impressive amount of creativity, which I admire no matter my final verdict.