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Parents' Guide to

Children of the Sea

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Slow pace, heavy themes in lengthy anime.

Movie NR 2020 111 minutes
Children of the Sea Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Not the kind of movies some you are used to

I am living for the visuals in this movie! having those deep dives in the ocean every 5 seconds felt very new and refreshing. Honestly, I was expecting a friendship/love story in this movie, none of that! instead I got this magical and awakening story, I feel like I want to awaken my spiritual power and see the world with my third eye and understand the secrets of the universe. Wait, I don't think there's a "universe" now I want to see all the parallel universes around us and that we humans cannot easily see. 100 % recommended if you're ready to feel the insignificance of us humans in this world, there's so much more out there. Do not watch this if you're looking for a regular cute/drama/high school movie, you should skip.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This movie is filled with beautiful animated depictions of the sea and the many creatures who inhabit it. Unfortunately, the beauty of the animation doesn't salvage what is a slow-paced and overlong movie that tries too hard to condense the headier themes of the manga into a feature-length film. Also, these "headier" themes -- the universe needs balance, everything in the universe is interconnected, we're all made of "star stuff," etc. -- isn't exactly breaking new ground, as many of these ideas can be found adorning the throw pillow section of the nearest Bed, Bath & Beyond. In terms of the teen melodrama aspects to the movie, the "fish out of water" saying is a literal depiction here, and while sometimes anime makes creative use of applying these terms to the magical realism of the worlds they depict, in Children of the Sea, it begins to grow increasingly tiresome.

It's the classic example of an anime that tries to do way too much, and the sheer volume of messages and side stories and backstories work against each other. The sheer volume of what's being communicated, as it's paired with beautifully hypnotic images of, say, tropical fish, creates a kind of numbing effect. The coming-of-age story gets lost in the morass of Big Ideas and Grand Concepts. And it's not to say that these thoughts on life, the universe, and the deep blue sea shouldn't be expressed, as stale as some of these ideas have become for overuse, but the lush animation would have been better served by using this movie to address some of these messages, and not all of them.

Movie Details

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