A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea espouses positive messages about composure under pressure, heroism, and the duty to protect one's country at any cost.
Positive Role Models
Many characters are loyal, honest, science-minded folks who aim to solve problems, help their country, and protect their shipmates. Others are superficially drawn -- the religious fanatic, the hotheaded sailor, the overzealous captain -- but overall their focus is to save the planet from harm.
Violence & Scariness
The film is consistently perilous as the submarine and crew deal with the threat of rising temperatures on Earth and the possible destruction of the planet. In a few instances, swimmers battle a giant squid and an octopus and electrocute and/or stab it. A woman falls into a shark tank and screams and is ostensibly eaten (but it's not shown). A few men are shown drowning and are then presumed dead. A man holds everyone captive with a bomb threat. Explosions, fires, and gas rock or otherwise disrupt the submarine, either from natural causes or saboteurs. The sky glows red with fire. Crew members suffer from heat, gas, or smoke exposure or inhalation. A small submarine explodes on contact, careening through a water minefield. Two sailors throw a few punches until they're separated.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss. Several shots focus specifically on a woman's behind, legs, and body.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
No profanity, but some gendered comments, such as referring to the submarine as a "demanding lady" and, true to the early 1960s time period in which this film is based, referring to a woman scientist as a "lady physicist" or "lady psychiatrist."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Casual cigarette and cigar smoking is shown throughout, typical of the era.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an early 1960s sci-fi adventure film (which later had a TV show of the same name) with a doomsday/apocalyptic plot anticipating Earth's demise. It features some casual cigarette smoking, some old-fashioned references to women, and a few obviously zoomed-in shots on the female body. There is peril throughout, and a few deaths occur on-screen, though the violence is largely implied, inexplicit, or campy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA is a campy, funny sci-fi movie of its era. The special effects are neat (giant squid, octopus) and the cast is all-star for its day. Some of the deep-blue-sea and fiery-sky shots and wrestling with giant sea creatures are fantastic for the time, and the other era-specific tells -- the casual smoking, the zoom-in on a shaking behind -- could be interesting conversation starters about changing attitudes over the past half-century toward both women's bodies and cigarettes. Other attitudes have only slightly shifted: Women won't make up 20 percent of crews serving on submarines until 2020.
For kids interested in submarines, science fiction, and old movies, this is a pretty tame introduction to those genres, and parents (or grandparents) of a certain age can still swoon over Barbara Eden and Frankie Avalon or laugh about the advancements we've made in understanding our own universe.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.