Octonauts TV Poster Image

Octonauts

(i)

 

Friendly adventurers teach kids about marine life, teamwork.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Premiere date:October 4, 2010
Cast:Paul Panting, Rob Rackstraw, Simon Greenall
Network:Disney Channel
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Ocean creatures
Character strengths:Teamwork
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Octonauts was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent 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 none of the lead characters are female, though. My 2 year old daughter identifies with the minor characters, who are girls, but who rarely go on any real adventures. How great would it be to have a lead character for her to emulate? Definitely a missed opportunity on the part of the show's creators.
Educator and Parent Written byBukamama May 28, 2012

Age Appropriate Action Adventure

Action packed, educational adventure. My four year old action boy requests The Octonauts. We've not allowed him to watch the action hero cartoons because of the violence, though, he knows all about them from their commercialization in stores and from his friends at preschool. The Ocotnauts fill his action-adventure heart...and teach him great lessons about teamwork, diversity, rules, and sea life. He really gets into the "creature reports" that repeat the lesson in a catchy song that he sings along to.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old February 19, 2012

Great show! EdUcational!

It is a great show for preschoolers to learn about our environment under water! They can learn animals names adaptations and much more! I recommend this show for everyone!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models