Parents' Guide to

Deep Sea

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Gorgeous but unsettling animated tale spotlights sadness.

Movie PG-13 2023 112 minutes
Deep Sea Movie Poster: A Chinese girl sleeps on a beach, the waves appearing to be a blanket covering her

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Breathtakingly gorgeous and original, this underwater epic sets a high bar for animators when it comes to creativity. At the same time, Deep Sea may to be too much for some people, especially in 3D and on a big screen. Embracing the fact that the action occurs underwater, the screen is almost always rocking and shifting, and it's a dizzying journey (to the point that it might cause motion sickness!). Writer-director Xiaopeng Tian grabs viewers by the hand and drags us along through astonishing, long tracking shots and constant chaos. It's a feat, but it's not necessarily one all will enjoy, particularly little kids.

Tian also takes an innovative approach to adapting an illustrated children's book: The book doesn't actually exist. While telling more would be a spoiler, families can use the film as inspiration to consider a real book they've read as a springboard for telling a bigger story. Ultimately, this beautiful tragedy is loud and sometimes abrasive visual poetry, and it must be seen through to the very end to appreciate it as an unparalled masterpiece.

Movie Details

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