A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn environmental lessons about the importance of keeping the oceans clean, as well as various educational tidbits about sea turtles: their life cycles from hatchlings to elderly turtles, their mating habits and their migratory patterns.
Sammy's journey is one that teaches about friendship, the environment, love, and overcoming obstacles. The eco-friendly sequences explain why humans contaminate the sea and how pollution affects animals' everyday lives.
Positive Role Models
Several of the sea animals are kind-hearted and courageous creatures who go out of their way to lend a hand to their friends. An exception is the cat who tricks Sammy and can't wait to get rid of him.
Violence & Scariness
There are a few tense and frightening moments when Sammy, Ray, or Shelly are about to be hurt but are rescued/get away at the last minute. Sammy faces everything from predatory seagulls to commercial fisherman to sharks (one of whom turns out to be a pal) in his journey.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
During the conversations about selecting a mate, Ray asks Sammy what his "type" is and discusses "cuties" of the opposite sex. Some flirting and eventually an embrace of sorts as Sammy and Shelly reunite.
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Rare insults ("dumb" and "baby").
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Turtle's Tale is a traditional animal adventure about a sea turtle who has to overcome countless obstacles to be reunited with his best friend and his dream mate. There are some elements of potential peril in which Sammy and his friends are separated or have to be rescued. Nothing is too upsetting, however, because we know Sammy lives to an old age (he narrates the story of his life). Children will learn a great deal about global warming, sea turtles, their habits, and their overall life cycles from hatchlings to grandparents. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A TURTLE'S TALE is a noticeable improvement to Ben Stassen's other historical drama Fly Me to the Moon. The story is considerably more accessible to kids, the characters are better developed, and the messages aren't as preachy. Kids familiar with Finding Nemo (and loved the segment with Crush the sea turtle and his family) will be particularly interested in a movie dedicated to the life of a sea turtle, one of the ocean's longest-living animals.
Part coming-of-age tale, part environmental lesson, the movie should teach children about the importance of ocean preservation and the life of sea turtles while also entertain them with silly characters (Ray is the classic goofball best friend) and a series of adventures that teach Sammy about being a responsible citizen of the sea as well as a good friend. It may not be Pixar, but it's a surprisingly educational pick for younger kids with a curiosity about the sea.
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.