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Parents' Guide to

The Water Babies

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Odd British '70s animation/live-action with drunk adults.

Movie NR 1978 92 minutes
The Water Babies Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 4+

Flashback fun!

For me, the water babies is a rare classic! And a favourite childhood film of mine. It must have been at least 30 years since I watched it one Christmas, but I still remember the storyline and different parts of the film. This Christmas my husband bought this film for me! I was very excited and very much enjoyed watching it with my husband and our 2 children (4 And 6). They also really loved it, in spite of the 70's quality and the Victorian film set and costume. The animated parts are timeless and the ideas and friendships not dissimilar to more modern underwater adventures like Finding Nemo and Sharks Tale, but the quest is to save the water babies from being enslaved by the Sharks. My 4 year old in particular wanted to watch it again the next day, saying how much she loved it, and both my children were dancing around the lounge yesterday singing "high cockalorum", a classic song from this film. We loved it!
1 person found this helpful.
age 6+

A legendary kid's film

This film is so great, this movie shaped who I am today, and grew me up as it was a gift from my family overseas. There is no aspect of this film I wouldn't recomend for children. If the story and themes in theis film are not "sufficiently interesting" for "modern children", it is a sad period when imagination and fantasy are mistaken for being childish. I believe people could use more childish innocence, not more recycled, played out laugh track Y2K Disney sitcoms. This fully kicks the crap out of Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, Wizards of Waverly Place, and iCarly. If people aren't discriminating enough to realise what an awesome piece of the imagination this is, I feel bad for the present, tech-ruined generation. One may call water babies campy, but not compared to the trash that passes for children's entertainment today.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

THE WATER BABIES is one part Dickensian trial and tribulation, and another part strange aquatic-themed animation that could have only come out of the 1970s. It was surely an innovative idea for its time -- real-life characters transforming into cartoon characters and back again -- but it's questionable as to whether or not the average 21st century child will find this as interesting. Furthermore, while the action itself is easy enough to follow, for kids (and adults, for that matter) unaccustomed to the "blimey, guv'nor!" slang and dialect of Cockney English, the characters' words might be difficult to understand.

But in spite of this, The Water Babies is still enjoyable on its own terms. James Mason is wonderfully rotten as the conniving Mr. Grimes, the musical numbers are fun, and the special effects have a nice '70s period charm.

Movie Details

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