Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Oceans Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Gorgeous educational docu dives deep for facts; kids OK.
  • G
  • 2010
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie teaches children all about the animals that depend on and live underneath the surface of our planet's waters: small (crab) and big (whales); common (jellyfish) and unusual (the Spanish Dancer). It also briefly and subtly discusses the peril that oceans face, largely due to human interference.

Positive Messages

This nature documentary drives home the fact that the ocean isn't just a resource that humans tap into, but actually a home to creatures great and small and must be treated with respect.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No obvious role models, but the movie might inspire future environmentalists.

Violence & Scariness

The ocean's inhabitants are shown feasting on their neighbors in Darwinian fashion, underscored by thumping music and loud waves crashing. No blood, really -- the action's so quick -- but it may be somewhat upsetting for younger audiences. Examples include: prawns breaking crabs in two; sea gulls plucking baby sea turtles off the shoreline; a great white shark opens wide to attack.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this informative and engrossing documentary takes a close look at the Earth's oceans and the creatures that call it home. Expect scenes depicting these bodies of water in all their glory and reality, and animals finding their place in the food chain (sharks feasting on fish, for instance, accompanied by dramatic music). The movie contains fairly subtle pro-environment messages. Kids younger than about 6 might find the hour-and-40-minute movie too long.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byUS-EuroMom April 26, 2012

Beautifully made movie. Watch it with your kids.

We watched this for the 1st time as a family on Blu-ray. We watched it with our 6 year old, 4 year old and 20 month old. After reading the reviews, we talked... Continue reading
Parent Written byParismama October 12, 2010

A beautiful film for tweens

We just watched this this weekend. An AMAZINGLY magical film- my oldest was riveted (my youngest who's 5 1/2 wasn't interested, though) Some of the sc... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 8, 2011

Great filming.

Oceans wasn't as great as Earth was, but the filming was done very nicely. Everyone should see it, appropriate for everyone.
Kid, 10 years old April 18, 2011

For 5 and Up

It is a good movie. Please, parents, be aware that it has some minor violence problems (such as baby sea turtles get eaten by seagulls). But over all it's... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this fascinating documentary, director Jacques Perrin takes viewers on a journey beneath the Earth's waters, which famously cover three-quarters of its surface, into a world that resembles the above universe: vast, wondrous, complicated. Watch as an iguana sashays off the coast of the Galapagos; a blanket octopus flitters through plant life; a mother whale bonds with her baby; an orca battles a sea lion (and wins). Filmmakers Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud submerge viewers in a world comprised of some of the most amazing, unique, and vital denizens, and address the threats to this underwater universe.

Is it any good?

Disney's OCEANS is beautifully photographed and expertly narrated by actor Pierce Brosnan. It inspires audiences to think about their impact on the Earth's waters without clobbering them over the head with the admirable message. How does it do that? By letting one gorgeous image after another -- taken with the help of the latest and greatest in documentary filmmaking technology -- speak for itself. (You'll wonder how they got certain shots, they're that close!) Take the case of the sea turtles, who are shown digging their way out of the sand, only to face a perilous time traversing the shore back to the ocean. As hundreds inch their way, flocks of sea gulls fly overhead, swooping in to pluck a meal. Or of the blue whale, opening its mouth to collect serenely but surely its meal of krill. The message: It's a fish-eat-fish world out there, so to speak.

But Darwinian selection is one thing; endangering natural habitats is altogether an entirely unappetizing enterprise. And the subtlety and restraint with which Oceans addresses this issue is what elevates it from mere afterschool special. It builds a case by simpy revealing the splendor of it all, then raises questions by showing how capable humans are of destroying so much that is beautiful and vital to the planet. How subtle, how effective! Still, there's little narrative momentum, and some may actually think its message too subtle; the effects of pollution don't come up until approximately the last fifth of the film. That said, there's plenty to marvel at, though younger kids (six and under) might find it overlong at an hour and 40 minutes. Everyone else, though, can sit back and enjoy the underwater ride.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the message of the film. What was it? How did the movie get its message across? Did this movie change your opinion about the oceans?

  • Talk about the sea creatures: Did you expect to see so many different kinds? How difficult must it have been to photograph them in their natural state? What goes into making a film like this? Did it make you want to learn more about the animals or the filming?

  • This movie released on Earth Day. What do you think about the idea of Earth Day? Do you celebrate it, or do anything special on that day? What can you do to keep the environment healthy?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about nature and more

Themes & Topics

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