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Go Fish

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Go Fish Movie Poster Image
Endearing story blends sea life facts and mild action.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 74 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Clearly-delivered educational material at level suitable for young kids: species of fish, behavior (defense mechanisms), effect of oil spills, relevance of coral reefs.

Positive Messages

Promotes responsibility for nature's well-being, importance of knowledge, teamwork, friendship, and treating one another with respect.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lead characters are curious, open to adventure, loyal, noble, brave, and work well together as a team. A human villain ignores responsibility toward the environment. Parental figures are responsible, caring.

Violence & Scariness

Heroes are chased and mildly threatened by sharks; an oil spill occurs. The images, for the most part, aren't intended to scare.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Some insults: "dummies," "jerkface."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Go Fish is an animated direct-to-DVD movie with a simple tale and lots of introductory information about creatures of the sea. Set in a coral reef, a cheery team of helpful fish swim to find the source of black goop that's endangering their habitat. They encounter other natural phenomena, as well as evidence of "humans" in their midst. There's mild peril, primarily the risk posed by the black goop (an oil spill), as well as two sharks who surround, chase, and threaten but never catch up with the heroes. For kids who have an awareness of pretend versus real danger, the action scenes will not be too scary as the filmmakers have not upped the ante with dark, ominous visuals or music. Very young or more sensitive viewers, however, may find even these moments disturbing. 

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What's the story?

Christine (Kathleen Bar), a curious young seahorse, is dying to go on an adventure in GO FISH. She doesn't want her parents to baby her anymore; she wants them to believe that she can do grown-up things. So when, Alex (Sean Patrick O'Reilly), a parrotfish responsible for keeping their home coral reef clean, sets out to find the source of some awful black goop that's falling on the fish, Christine wants to go with him. Her reluctant parents agree, but only when Ed (Elijah Davvaan), a steadfast blowfish, promises he'll go and look after their daughter. The enthusiastic trio is joined by Eelanor (Asia Mattu), a shy eel. The team's journey does become a real adventure when they encounter the unexpected... a sunken plane, two sharks who are looking for a fine dinner, and, finally, an oil rig that may just have a problem. 

Is it any good?

Cute, humorous, and always well-intentioned members of an animated fish clan convey fascinating facts, make new friends, and help put off a natural catastrophe with just a touch of cloying sweetness. Sean Patrick O'Reilly, his team, and his own clan (lots of O'Reillys in the credits) are well-intentioned, too. Descriptions of sea creatures -- their behaviors, their defense systems, and their purpose -- are relayed in a gentle way, smoothly blending with the storytelling. Based on O'Reilly's own graphic children's book, Go Fish is a simple story, well-told, and designed to be family-friendly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the action sequences in Go Fish. Were they scary? At what age do you think you understood the difference between pretend and real violence? How does your family decide whether a movie is suitable for you? Why is it important to be aware of the impact of violence on kids?

  • Were you surprised to find out that coral reefs are actually made of living animals? Find out more about them. Why are coral reefs in real danger? What can humans do about those dangers?

  • What did Christine learn about growing up and being independent? Why did her parents give her boundaries? Why do parents generally make rules for their kids?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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