Oceans Movie Poster Image


Gorgeous educational docu dives deep for facts; kids OK.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:April 22, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:October 19, 2010
Cast:Pierce Brosnan
Director:Jacques Perrin
Topics:Ocean creatures, Science and nature, Wild animals
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Teen, 15 years old Written bygoodteenuser1 October 20, 2010
Very good and very educational.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 10 year old Written bygummie22 April 25, 2010

Beautiful, but too many missed opportunities to teach important lessons

We just saw Oceans and enjoyed the images immensely. However, as a diver, and having seen the human impact on our oceans first-hand, I don't think this movie went far enough with its message. When there were scenes that were a little disturbing for my son, the film did not explain what was happening, or why. "Why are the birds eating the baby turtles?" The answer was left for me, the mom, to answer. However, there were several scenes showing the beautiful lionfish, but no mention that they have invaded the Caribbean and are destroying life on its coral reefs. I am a teacher, and an amateur marine naturalist, and I think that this, and many other moments in the film were missed opportunities to teach some important lessons. Yes, we see garbage floating in the ocean, but what about telling and showing how big that floating garbage thing really is -- hundreds of miles!!!!! So, while I really loved the movie and how amazing the images were, I still feel it had too many missed opportunities to teach important lessons. Jacques Cousteau always explained "why" in his films. I think this film was missing that important element.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 3 year old Written byKMS April 30, 2010
My 3 year old son and I went to see this movie. We both enjoyed it. While he may not have liked the baby sea turtles being eaten, he seemed to understand that it was a part of life (he said, "that made me a little sad, but the birds have to eat too") and he was able to see the positive side of it ("one turtle made it to the ocean and that made me happy!"). There was no blood, and even when animals were killed or eaten (one crab, baby turtles, and some seals) the film did not dwell on it. He did start to lose interest after about an hour, but there was so much interesting positive content, and I he really seems to have learned a lot about ocean life. He and I both enjoyed the movie.