The Reef 2: High Tide Movie Poster Image

The Reef 2: High Tide



Sequel is less intense than original but still menacing.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

The Reef 2: High Tide offers positive messages about teamwork, community, loyalty, and friendship. It promotes standing up for yourself and the idea that everyone has an important role in any community and that all those roles should be valued. But, in spite of these positive messages, the plot does involve teaching a neighborhood to learn to fight to solve the problem of an unrelenting bully.

Positive role models

Characters in the Reef community are largely supportive, loyal friends, and loving neighbors. The sharks and their cohorts are simplistically evil, though one character's reasons for going along with the bullying are explained, and he does make things right.

Violence & scariness

Sustained peril throughout as a group of sharks and their ringleader terrorize the Reef and plot revenge, from the opening scenes of a menacing shark with gleaming teeth busting out of a cage, to the numerous threats he issues to the other fish with taunts and insults. Many scenes involve high-speed swimming with razor teeth open wide, and the gobbling of a handful of fish throughout, and, in one instance, a snake. A female is kidnapped and locked in a cell. A shark thrashes his tail against rocks to startle and scare other fish, and several scenes involve shark-to-fish scuffles, swipes, and chases. A shark is pummeled with rocks and flung across the sea.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Insulting, bullying language used throughout, such as "coward" and "wrinkle face."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Reef 2: High Tide has some mean-spirited bullying and taunting, a female fish who is kidnapped, and a lot of sustained peril as a nasty shark with razor-sharp teeth plots revenge and taunts a community of fish. Even though it offers positives messages about valuing everyone's role and standing up for yourself, it ultimately shows that violence must be used to solve the problem of violence.

What's the story?

Pi (Drake Bell) is now a father to Max and husband to Cordelia (Busy Phillips), and all is well in the Reef until Troy returns, recently escaped from his cage and ready to plot revenge. His plan? To ruin the Reef however he can. Pi wants to gather his troops and train them to fight as he did before, but they aren't interested, which means Pi will have to choose what's more important: leading the way or working together.

Is it any good?


THE REEF 2: HIGH TIDE is a softer film than the original. There's more time here spent on the community working together, training to fight, and putting on a big show, and it takes time to explore more issues about group dynamics and what it means to really value everyone's role in a group, no matter how big or small. The animation is improved, but there's still a constant menace that's a bit mean-spirited (gobbling fish and snakes and chasing everyone in sight with a vengeance) that could frighten younger kids, to whom the film seems targeted.

Older kids still interested in ocean adventures might be captivated by the bright colors, the silly characters, and the thrill of the chase, but parents should be ready to assuage fears with little ones. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bullying. What are some other ways to handle a bully that don't involve violence? Do you think the fish had any other choice but to fight back?

  • What are some different roles that people in your family play, and how are they all important? What is your role in the family? 

  • How can you stand up for yourself without resorting to hitting or fighting? Have you ever had to do it? What happened?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:October 30, 2012
Cast:Rob Schneider, Busy Philipps, Drake Bell
Director:Mark A.Z. Dippe
Studio:Arc Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Ocean creatures
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of The Reef 2: High Tide was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Fast, fresh, funny action comedy set undersea.
  • Superb, entertaining animated musical has some scary stuff.
  • Sweet father-son tale has some very scary moments.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?