Octonauts & the Caves of Sac Actun

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Octonauts & the Caves of Sac Actun Movie Poster Image
Some tense moments in exciting rescue mission tale.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 72 minutes

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

Educational Value

Octonauts' explorations teach about some unique qualities of Yucatan region of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Kids also see characters use navigational tools like compass, maps, echo mapper. Recurring reminders about importance of taking safety precautions during potentially dangerous activities like cave diving, and characters demonstrate several of them (using a guide rope, packing extra supplies, etc.) throughout. 

Positive Messages

The Octonauts are a team in every sense of the word, and teamwork is a major aspect of everything they do. Perseverance and a can-do attitude pay dividends, and willingness to think outside the box to solve problems proves invaluable. Courage presents differently in different characters, but overall takeaway is that while facing fears is difficult, doing so is easier with support and contributes to personal growth.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Captain Barnacles finds surprising relief in sharing details of his fear with his friend Peso, who then helps him overcome that fear. Similarly, Peso finds courage with the captain's guidance. Octonauts demonstrate value of determination and working together toward a common goal. 

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but several tense scenes in which characters face uncertainty: They're chased by predators, a helicopter crash forces them to parachute to safety, one of the chutes doesn't open immediately, oxygen supplies are dangerously low while they're underwater, etc. There's always a happy ending, though.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This movie features the characters from the Octonauts TV series.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Octonauts & the Caves of Sac Actun is a feature-length movie starring the characters from the Octonauts TV series. This story involves some scenes in which the explorers encounter dangers like predators, cave-ins, and limited air tank reserves underwater. Such scenarios can be worrisome for young viewers, but they always turn out well in the end. Curious kids will learn some things about the ecology of the Yucatan Peninsula and the vast underwater caverns and tunnels below ground. The characters' actions also illustrate strengths like perseverance and courage, especially in the case of two main characters who overcome personal fears to help facilitate rescues.

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What's the story?

In OCTONAUTS & THE CAVES OF SAC ACTUN, Captain Barnacles (voiced by Simon Greenall) and Peso (Paul Panting) chart a course across Mexico to return an octopus named Coba (Jo Wyatt) to his home in the Caribbean Sea. But when trouble strikes and they find themselves in the middle of the Yucatan jungle instead, they embark on a perilous journey through underwater caves and tunnels to get Coba back home. As their Octonaut friends launch a rescue mission to locate the missing travelers, it’s a race against time to get everyone back safely.

Is it any good?

This intrepid rescue team saves the day again in an exciting story that introduces kids to geological formations like underwater caverns and cenotes local to the Yucatan region of Mexico. The story has several perilous moments as the characters evade predators, avoid disasters, and deplete their resources too quickly, but predictably everything works out in the end. As the Octonauts face one sticking point after another, they show their young viewers the value of determination and courage in facing their fears.

Octonauts & the Caves of Sac Actun uses its setting to expose kids to the unique scientific qualities of the Yucatan and Caribbean regions. As the characters make their way through the jungle and follow the caverns, they encounter indigenous inhabitants like remipedes and limpets, see stalactite formations, and learn about cenotes and how they create water reservoirs in the jungle. The Octonauts also use various navigational tools and maps to guide their explorations and demonstrate quick thinking to solve problems in sticky situations. These kinds of educational factors are secondary to the exciting storyline, but even so, they let young viewers glimpse some aspects of the geological diversity of the planet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Octonauts & the Caves of Sac Actun's messages about perseverance. Why is this a valuable character strength? Who demonstrates perseverance in this story? How does it feel to overcome a difficult challenge? 

  • Was Captain Barnacles' admission of a personal fear a surprise to you? Why do we often forget that even leaders and mentors in our lives have fears of some kind? How does having a friend help you face a fear make it easier to do so? 

  • What does this story teach you about life in the underwater caverns of the Yucatan? How are these life forms different from the ocean creatures you are used to seeing and hearing about? How do they demonstrate adaptations to their habitats? 

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