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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.
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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?
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