Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef Movie Poster Image
 Parents recommend
Fantastic musical special promotes environmental awareness.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 47 minutes

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This story exposes preschool viewers to some general facts about the Great Barrier Reef, including the fact that it is the largest coral reef system in the world. The various characters represent their real-life counterparts, young Corey indicates that coral reefs grow from small polyps, and the Octonauts' presence invites mention of the delicate balance of vulnerable ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. 

Positive Messages

Standout themes of teamwork, kindness, outreach, and helpfulness. Strong leadership organizes a rescue effort for the reef, but it's the contributions of individual residents that make the difference in protecting their home. The story touches on the concept of environmental endangerment and conservation. 

Positive Role Models

The Octonauts are all about helping others, and they demonstrate that selfless and tireless mission in their efforts to protect the reef and its diverse population. While they are the ones to organize the effort, its success really depends on the unique attributes of creatures of all sizes and abilities in the habitat. Corey is an excellent reminder that size doesn't determine potential, and there are several examples of unlikely symbiotic relationships among the reef residents, promoting the idea that we all have something positive to offer someone (or something) else. 

Violence & Scariness

The "villains" of the story are a populous group of starfish invaders the characters call an "outbreak." They threaten the health of the reef and thus the safety of its residents, which could be scary to sensitive viewers, but the story eventually has a happy ending for everyone. 

Sexy Stuff

This special is part of the Octonauts series. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef is a special from the Octonauts TV series that raises issues related to environmental protection for vulnerable ecosystems and the Great Barrier Reef in particular. The story evolves through the eyes of a small coral polyp who hopes to become a big coral one day, but his chance of doing so is threatened by an ecological imbalance in the reef. It's a friendly and feel-good way to broach the subject of conservation with preschoolers, and its very happy ending leaves viewers feeling hopeful. The Octonauts prove themselves to be helpers extraordinaire, able to problem solve on the fly and use the resources available to them to do so. This story promotes environmental awareness, community responsibility, teamwork, and compassion, and boasts some fantastic original music.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 6-year-old Written byCLRB October 4, 2021
Parent of a 3-year-old Written bypeevedpanda June 27, 2021

Really great kids movie with tunes that your kid will sing nonstop

Our 3 year old loves this movie and loves singing along to the songs. It’s mildly entertaining for adults so I don’t hate having it on in the background either.
Teen, 17 years old Written byHello....... October 22, 2020

Octonauts is AWESOME!

Ok, so this was a REALLY good movie, NOTHING bad! MUSICAL! Songs about ocean creatures!

What's the story?

OCTONAUTS & THE GREAT BARRIER REEF sees the underwater rescuers setting a course for the world's larges coral formations on a mission to provide help to the living things there. Upon arriving, they meet a coral polyp named Corey who's eager to find a place to put down roots among the larger coral. He and this new Octonaut friends meet the local residents just in time to help them fend off an outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish, who spell disaster for the reef. With some quick thinking, they pool their resources to protect their home and send the unwanted guests packing.

Is it any good?

The Octonauts show off their best qualities -- resourcefulness, helpfulness, and kindness -- in this utterly delightful musical special. We first meet darling Corey and see the magnitude of the Great Barrier Reef through the eyes of this tiny newcomer with big dreams. As he takes in his new surroundings and meets new neighbors, viewers come to appreciate the diversity of the notable habitat. That same diversity becomes invaluable as the Octonauts launch a massive rescue mission to protect the delicate reef from an invasive species and to ensure that Corey's new home is in tip-top shape.

Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef is exceedingly fun to watch (even for grown-ups!) because of the fun original songs, the positive themes, and the likable characters who teach about their real-life counterparts. Families that watch together can expand on what this story introduces about natural diversity, ecosystems, and matters related to conservation. The story's message of environmental responsibility is prominent without being preachy and relatable to the appealing characters, making it well positioned to inform youngsters and remind adults of the need to protect vulnerable ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the examples of compassion and teamwork they see in Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef. How does being able to see a situation through Corey's eyes help inspire the Octonauts' efforts? Would their ability to succeed have been different without everyone's help? How does each resident play a role in it?

  • Corey doesn't let being small dampen his dreams. What are your kids' dreams and goals for when they are older? In what ways are they inspired by the people around them as Corey is by the grown coral?

  • Does this story change how you think about the environment and conservation? What steps can you take where you are to help protect the world's endangered ecosystems? Where can you learn more about doing so?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love nature

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