A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
What's the story?
An elderly sea turtle named Sammy tells the story of life from a wee little hatchling trying to escape predatory seagulls to a juvenile turtle (Yuri Lowenthal) who along with his best friend Ray (Anthony Anderson) attempt to survive the current and find a mate. Along the way, Sammy remains steadfast to finding Shelly, the female turtle who saved him as a baby. Despite several adventures that take him away from Ray, Sammy wants nothing more than to reunite with his friends. As he grows older, Sammy realizes that humans and pollution and global warming are all destructive forces that sea animals must face.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's environmental message concerning the sea. How does pollution affect the underwater animals? Are all humans portrayed as "bad for the sea," however?
How does the movie compare to other underwater adventures like Finding Nemo? What are some similar themes shared between the movies?
The movie chronicles several decades of Sammy's life. How are the different decades portrayed?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love animals
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.