By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Girl-centered sci-fi series is like a tween-sized Lost.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Neri's selfless actions are often contrasted against those of the show's villains. There is an overall ecological message embedded in the show. A few tinges of racism and sexism.
Positive Role Models
Neri is a nearly flawless role model for girls, in that she is strong, independent, selfless, smart, and kind.
Violence & Scariness
There are occasional tense situations where it seems likely Neri will be discovered.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The young teens flirt with each other and the boys leer lightly at the girls: "Nice," says one boy as a pretty girl walks by.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ocean Girl is a wonderful Australian sci-fi series centering on a magical girl who is selfless, kind, and mysterious. The other central kid characters, Jason and Brett, experience typical teen and tween growing pains, including flirtation and dating, which may be a little much for younger kids. The somewhat complicated backstory, which involves extraterrestrials and enviro-baddies, may also be too much for them to follow. But for older kids, particularly those into fantasy or ocean themes, this show is positively thrilling.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In the Australian sci-fi series OCEAN GIRL, Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) are two boys who go to live with their mother, a marine biologist, on an underwater station where she plans to decipher the songs of whales. But both boys, and later, their mother are surprised to meet Neri (Marzena Godecki), a strange girl who lives on a nearby deserted island. She can talk to whales, swim great distances underwater without coming up for breath, and has superhuman strength. Who is Neri? How did she get to her island, and why can she do the things she does? And why do so many sinister villains and organizations want to get to her? It's up to Jason, Brett, and Neri to find out, and to help Neri fulfill her destiny.
Is It Any Good?
Ocean Girl puts one in mind of a tween Lost. The plot is almost as complex and twisty, although pitched at a much younger audience and thus nearly sexless and gentle. But the action is crackling and nonstop, the mysteries are many, and the lead character, Neri, is enchanting. Any scenes where she appears are pretty much guaranteed to be cool.
Things aren't quite as interesting onboard the Orca, where teen and tween social dynamics take over, temporarily transforming the show into Degrassi underwater, though not nearly as edgy/serious. Adults' attention may wane, however, when the Orca kids play tricks on each other or flirt, though kids will enjoy the intrigue. Everyone will perk back up when Neri shows up again. The show does get a bit more serious and dark as it goes along, so parents should check in as kids delve into the series.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why Neri feels she has to keep hidden. What would happen to her if she were discovered? Why does she fear humans?
Do you think the Orca is really underwater? What makes you think that? What other parts of Ocean Girl are special effects, and couldn't happen in real life?
Jason and Brett's mother wants to study the songs of whales to find out what they mean. What animal would you like to be able to understand? Why?
- Premiere date: August 29, 1994
- Cast: David Hoflin, Jeffrey Walker, Marzena Godecki
- Network: Disney Channel
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Character Strengths: Communication, Integrity
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: October 23, 2022
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Where to Watch
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