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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie teaches children all about the animals that depend on and live underneath the surface of our planet's waters: small (crab) and big (whales); common (jellyfish) and unusual (the Spanish Dancer). It also briefly and subtly discusses the peril that oceans face, largely due to human interference.
This nature documentary drives home the fact that the ocean isn't just a resource that humans tap into, but actually a home to creatures great and small and must be treated with respect.
Positive Role Models
No obvious role models, but the movie might inspire future environmentalists.
Violence & Scariness
The ocean's inhabitants are shown feasting on their neighbors in Darwinian fashion, underscored by thumping music and loud waves crashing. No blood, really -- the action's so quick -- but it may be somewhat upsetting for younger audiences. Examples include: prawns breaking crabs in two; sea gulls plucking baby sea turtles off the shoreline; a great white shark opens wide to attack.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this informative and engrossing documentary takes a close look at the Earth's oceans and the creatures that call it home. Expect scenes depicting these bodies of water in all their glory and reality, and animals finding their place in the food chain (sharks feasting on fish, for instance, accompanied by dramatic music). The movie contains fairly subtle pro-environment messages. Kids younger than about 6 might find the hour-and-40-minute movie too long. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Disney's OCEANS is beautifully photographed and expertly narrated by actor Pierce Brosnan. It inspires audiences to think about their impact on the Earth's waters without clobbering them over the head with the admirable message. How does it do that? By letting one gorgeous image after another -- taken with the help of the latest and greatest in documentary filmmaking technology -- speak for itself. (You'll wonder how they got certain shots, they're that close!) Take the case of the sea turtles, who are shown digging their way out of the sand, only to face a perilous time traversing the shore back to the ocean. As hundreds inch their way, flocks of sea gulls fly overhead, swooping in to pluck a meal. Or of the blue whale, opening its mouth to collect serenely but surely its meal of krill. The message: It's a fish-eat-fish world out there, so to speak.
But Darwinian selection is one thing; endangering natural habitats is altogether an entirely unappetizing enterprise. And the subtlety and restraint with which Oceans addresses this issue is what elevates it from mere afterschool special. It builds a case by simpy revealing the splendor of it all, then raises questions by showing how capable humans are of destroying so much that is beautiful and vital to the planet. How subtle, how effective! Still, there's little narrative momentum, and some may actually think its message too subtle; the effects of pollution don't come up until approximately the last fifth of the film. That said, there's plenty to marvel at, though younger kids (six and under) might find it overlong at an hour and 40 minutes. Everyone else, though, can sit back and enjoy the underwater ride.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.