A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Aqua Tales is a 2012 computer-animated film about a young boy who hates eating fish so much, he wishes that aliens would come and remove all the fish from the planet, and that wish comes true. There are some moments of inappropriate humor and language: toward the end, a dog is shown urinating on a robot, and early in the film, a young girl exclaims, "Let's get the hell out of here!" Also, the name of the newscaster is "I.P. Daily." There is quite a bit of cartoonish violence. Overall, while the animation isn't bad, the movie's overall message concerning the preservation of sea life gets lost in translation, as the story isn't easy to follow and the characters aren't especially memorable.
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What's the story?
Opil would rather eat junk food instead of the fish his mother serves him for dinner. He hates fish. In fact, he hates fish so much, that when his mother serves him a "wish fish," Opil wishes that aliens would come down to Earth and take away all the fish from the planet. Unfortunately, Opil's wish comes true, and his mother is abducted by aliens seeking to remove all the fish and summarily destroy the world. It is up to Opil -- along with his new friends, a brave sea captain and an adventurous little girl -- to save the fish, rescue his mother, save the world, and perhaps even learn to love eating fish for dinner.
Is it any good?
AQUA TALES, as a computer-animated movie made in Spain and India, is both hard to follow and seems to have aspects to it that are lost in translation. The health benefits of eating fish are expounded upon frequently, and the results of what would happen if all the fish disappeared is shown, but oddly enough, there isn't any discussion about the effects of overfishing, or what happens if people eat too much fish. There are several instances of inappropriate humor -- a dog is shown urinating on a robot, the newscaster's name is "I.P. Daily," and a young girl yells, "Let's get the hell out of here!"
With all of this taken into consideration, it's difficult to determine just what the overall message is supposed to be. Fish are important to the ecological balance, so eat them as often as possible? It's hard to say, especially with such a difficult-to-follow storyline and characters who aren't especially memorable. The animation isn't bad, but the overall takeaway is one of confusion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about computer-animated movies. How does this film compare with other computer-animated movies, in terms of the quality of the animation, the story, and the characters?
How effectively do you think this movie conveyed its message regarding the preservation of sea life?
What do you think would be different about this movie had it been made in North America?
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