Rainbow Fish



Beloved book goes belly-up on TV.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters tease each other and act smart-alecky. A character who gets good grades is mocked (albeit good naturedly) for the achievement.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that these fish can be whiny and smart-alecky. They tease one another, and there's a kind of supposedly good-natured mocking of the character who makes good grades that's exactly the kind of example kids don't need.

Parents say

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What's the story?

RAINBOW FISH takes Marcus Pfister's popular book for toddlers and preschoolers and attempts, with little success, to turn it into a program for young school-age kids.

Is it any good?


There's no real point in making these characters fish, unless it's an attempt to rope in fans of Disney's Nemo, and there's no connection to the original book other than the title character's appearance. The book provides a lesson on friendship, and those are ostensibly the lessons provided within the show, too, but they're not particularly well done.

The audience for the book will be mystified by characters doing math, discussing grades, and participating in undersea sports. And the older kids who might understand the stories will be bored by the lack of real conflict or characters. So there's really nothing to hold a kid's attention here, and certainly nothing for a grown-up watching along. Only the biggest fans of the book will want to tune in.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the lessons in friendship presented by the show. Why do you think the characters say what they do? How does that make their friends feel? Families might also want to go beyond the obvious lessons and talk about some of the issues the show ignores, like whether the way the friends tease each other is really kind, or the amount of under-the-sea junk food they eat. Or they could just give all that up and talk about why this show is so lame before choosing something else to watch.

TV details

Cast:Erin Fitzgerald, Rhys Huber
Network:HBO Family
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Ocean creatures
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bye2345880900 November 18, 2011

best class

i really think this cool educational
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byMoony718 November 25, 2015

Terrible Message

According to Rainbow Fish, it's okay to hate and shun others because they have more than you have, and they have to give you some of their looks/money/smarts, etc., otherwise, you won't be their friend.


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