TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Octonauts TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Friendly adventurers teach kids about marine life, teamwork.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 25 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show incorporates facts about sea life, including the characteristics and habits of individual species. Each episode wraps up with a musical recap (including real-life photos and video clips) of what viewers learned about the story's featured animal. Often the content also includes basic preschool skills like counting.

Positive Messages

The Octonauts are dedicated to the causes of learning about their environment and caring for its inhabitants. Each story centers on a problem of some kind, which the crew solves by dividing responsibilities and using teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each team member brings a unique set of skills to the group, and his or her responsibilities reflect this arrangement. The Octonauts are curious, eager to learn, and determined to protect their underwater neighbors.

Violence & Scariness

Occasionally the characters reference sea "monsters" they encounter, but once they've identified the creature, they use its real name.

Sexy Stuff

The show is based on a series of books about the same characters, so young fans might want to check out those next.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Octonauts is an ocean-set preschool cartoon that encourages kids' curiosity about the world by introducing them to some of the sea's diverse species. The show incorporates fun facts about sea creatures in its stories and songs, and the characters' actions illustrate the show's themes of cooperation, friendship, and caring for others. The series is based on children's books of the same name, so this could prompt some read-aloud sessions with your tots as well.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNeversideFaerie June 8, 2017

You're never too old to enjoy this show!

Even though the target audience is 3-7-year-olds, the stories and characters are really well-crafted and you end up learning about sea creatures you never knew... Continue reading
Adult Written byAshleyJPL February 28, 2015

No girls in lead roles

My 2 and 4 year olds love this show. It's educational and not at all scary, which is important for my sensitive preschooler. I'm disappointed that non... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 30, 2020

All Ages Enjoy!

One of my childhood favourites, still to this day I could sit down and watch it all over again. The characters are funny and unique and when I was younger I wis... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byireviewthings March 27, 2016

Amazing informational marine wildlife show for kids and teens alike

An amazing show thats targeted for kids interested in marine life, And they even delve into some land creatures sometimes
I discovered it when i was 10 and inst... Continue reading

What's the story?

OCTONAUTS is a preschool series about an eclectic team of underwater adventurers who take it upon themselves to ensure the safety of their colorful neighbors. Whether it's a giant squid with an empty stomach or a young lobster seeking shelter from a storm with his family, no creature (or problem) is too big or too small for the Octonauts' help. The eight-member team -- led by Captain Barnacles (voiced by Simon Greenall) and his sidekicks, Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) and Peso (Paul Panting) -- keeps tabs on the underwater happenings from its headquarters, the Octopod.

Is it any good?

This preschool series is a bit like what you'd expect if you mixed Finding Nemo with Star Trek. There's a lot of imagination in the characters and their rescue gadgets (especially the multi-appendaged, mobile Octopod), and kids will happily get on board with how the creative style inspires their own imagination. When they're tackling a problem, the team members have designated roles and jobs to do, which sends positive messages about individuality and the power of cooperation.

All of this is great, but what kids probably will like best about Octonauts is the window it provides to life under the sea. The animation isn't on par with Pixar's Nemo, of course, but it's still appealing enough to sweep viewers along on a tour of the sea floor and introduce kids to its diverse inhabitants, teaching them about creatures' features and habits in a fun, energetic manner.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the world's diversity. How do animals adapt to their surroundings? What signs of adaptation do you see in the underwater creatures in Octonauts? How would they need to change if they lived on land?

  • Kids: Is it fun to be part of a team? How must teammates work together to achieve a common goal? What happens if no one listens to the leader? How does that compromise the team's success? Can you name some teams to which you belong? 

  • The Octonauts enjoy helping their neighbors and friends. In what ways do you do the same in your family or neighborhood? How can you show others that you care? How does doing a good deed make you feel?

  • How do the characters in Octonauts demonstrate teamwork? Why is that an important character strength?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool fun

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate