WHITE AS THE WAVES: A STORY OF MOBY DICK

Book Cover

ACTION ADVENTURE EPIC DRAMA

19th Century

ALISON BAIRD

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Logline

A retelling of Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick" using the viewpoint of the title character, "White as the Waves" explores the life of the fabled white whale, from his birth off the Galapagos Islands to his fateful encounter with the man who would become his greatest nemesis.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Epic,Drama

Short Summary

The white whale of Herman Melville’s novel is depicted as attacking whaling ships and their crews, not from malice but to avenge the killing of his mate. When he sees a young female bottlenose dolphin fleeing from a shark, he kills the predator, and the dolphin becomes his loyal companion.


Little does the white whale know that one of the human hunters he attacked and maimed years before is now pursuing him in turn. In the final climactic encounter, the dolphin and the one surviving seaman, Ishmael, serve identical roles: to observe the last battle of Ahab and Moby Dick.

Setting

Pacific Ocean

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Whitewave

Age: 70

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Confident,Desperate,Empathetic,Heroic,Strong Moral Code,Complex

Additional Character Details

Name: Feliki

Age: 30

Gender: Female

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Charming,Outspoken,Funny

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

The success of properties like Wicked and Joker has shown that audiences are fascinated by retellings of familiar narratives using alternative viewpoints, often those of the antagonists in the original story. A cinematic retelling of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick using the viewpoint of the white whale fits this genre, and should meet with a similar reception. In this version whales can talk, and animation would seem to be the obvious choice for a story of that kind. However, that would require stripping the darker, more violent elements from this anti-whaling story to make it suitable for younger viewers, in the process undercutting its message and also limiting its audience to families. The story might be better served by the approach used for such films as Jurassic Park: a combination of realistic CGI for the animals and live action sequences with real actors for the human roles. Jurassic Park, a very violent and often frightening film, nonetheless holds huge appeal for children due to its subject matter. White as the Waves could have a similarly broad appeal, drawing in everyone from children excited to see a movie about talking animals to older educated viewers intrigued by a new take on a literary classic. Educators would also likely take an interest in the film, both for its environmental message and for the chance it offers to introduce their students to Melville’s original novel.

About The Author

Alison Baird is the award-nominated author of numerous novels for both adult and young adult readers, including The Dragon Throne trilogy (Warner Books), The Dragon's Egg (Scholastic Canada), White as the Waves (Tuckamore Books), The Hidden World, The Wolves of Woden, and the Willowmere trilogy (Penguin Canada). Baird has also published numerous works of short fiction in Canadian magazines and anthologies. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Target Audiences

Age: 7-12,13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: The rights have now reverted to the author

Year Published: 1999

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

Information not completed

Genre

ACTION, DRAMA, FANTASY

Brief

The origin story of Ahab’s White Whale in Moby Dick. The story is told from the perspective of Whitewave aka Moby Dick following their birth until their encounter and revenge for humanities attack on whales. Pursued by the Pequod, Whitewave vows to protect the other animals in the ocean from the greedy teeth of men aka their hunting and whaling tools.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

It is accurate.

Draw of Story

The research and expose about the foreign underwater world of sperm whales and fascinating and well-done.

Possible Drawbacks

However in initially tying the book to the classic Moby Dick, the span of the plot is perhaps too long to keep a consistent tension thus even pacing throughout the story.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Moby Dick is remixed to tell the story from Moby Dick rather than the boat crew to explain the interspecies quarrel.

Fanbase Potential

If either freed of the Moby Dick connection or refined to revolve more around Moby Dick the story would have a clearer direction and appeal to either a smaller literature crowd or be a popular action film.

Awards Potential

This is unlikely to have awards potential unless animated for a kids story or for technical achievements if decided to be live action.

Envisioned Budget

LARGE BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, MOBY DICK, MOBY DICK, HAPPY FEET, KEDI

What’s New About the Story

The unique aspects stem from showing the hidden inner worlds of sperm whales so either shifting entirely to new themes revolving around whale survival with a smaller scope or focusing more on just the connection to the Herman Melville story will help make the goal of the plot clearer.

Lead Characters

Whitewave is curious, adaptive and protective. His mother is cautious, wise and caring. Nickfin is selfless, brave and inspiring.

Uniqueness of Story

This definitely has exceptional imagination however the scope is somewhat too large to form meaningful emotional attachment to the whales as it is unclear why they think and act like humans when they are not.

Possible Formats

Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

The scope of the conflict is too large which creates uneven pacing and unclear themes. The characters feel static when constructed around human archetypes rather than three-dimensional whales.

Tips for Improvement

Condensing the time frame would help establish themes that are easier to follow and help keep pacing more even. Allowing the whales more freedom to act less human could also help separate the story from Moby Dick or connect it more closely.