A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn about the geology of Mars, including discoveries about the planet's geological past, as well as NASA's program to explore the planet.
Promotes teamwork and curiosity, emphasizes importance of gratitude and empathy. Pro-STEM topic.
Positive Role Models
The team behind building Opportunity and Spirit had to use lots of teamwork to create the rovers and troubleshoot them once they reached Mars. Desire to explore Mars shows curiosity. Team also uses empathy when they develop a relationship with the robots that have become a huge part of their lives. Through the robots' lifespan, several team members are able to better understand issues affecting their personal lives.
Many images of NASA team behind the Mars rovers are White men. But documentary also highlights several women and people of color who helped make the rovers a possibility.
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Violence & Scariness
Some simulations of Opportunity and Spirit's time traveling to and exploring Mars could be a little scary for very small children.
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"Damn it" (part of an official NASA command), "damndest."
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Products & Purchases
A Heineken commercial featuring Opportunity is shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Members of the NASA team drink alcohol. A beer commercial is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Good Night Oppy is an inspiring, educational documentary that showcases the amazing accomplishment of the NASA team members who sent Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity to the Red Planet. The film's interviewees include a diverse mix of people engaging in STEM pursuits, as well as demonstrating curiosity and teamwork to complete their mission. Empathy is another major component of the film. Expect a little bit of language ("damn") and drinking by adults, as well as a clip of a Heineken commercial featuring Opportunity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun, insightful documentary about how the Mars rovers helped NASA learn major revelations about the Red Planet, including its watery past. Good Night Oppy will likely inspire space fans and STEM lovers of all ages, but it's especially important for younger viewers to watch. The film features several prominent mission team members, including women and people of color. Seeing them included may go far in helping young girls and children of color feel welcome in a space that has, in the past, seemed unwelcoming to non-male, non-White individuals.
The film also provides a way to examine empathy through the relationship the engineers establish with both Spirit and Opportunity. As the engineers' lives progress and change -- including growing their families and facing aging, sickness, and mortality -- they view those experiences through their relationship with their aging robots, who also experience their own versions of aging and sickness. At times, the film can feel a wee bit too saccharine, but overall, Good Night Oppy is a great documentary to watch with the whole family.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.