Yes this weeks recommendation is a really weird one for me- as it’s a children’s television show, but its one I’ve spent countless hours watching and re-watching in my household and have gained a surprisingly large amount of information from. This is a show that I honestly never thought id enjoy, my daughter loves everything Octonaut related, but i honestly thought it would be another case of watching something she likes in a semi bored state yet I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is one of the best children’s shows on television and im happy to let my daughter watch almost as much of it as she likes and here’s why.
The Octonuats are a small group of animals, that walk and talk very much like humans, who are on a mission under the sea to discover new and exciting sea creatures while helping any creature they come across who is need of assistance. The team consists of a cat, polar bear, penguin, rabbit, dog, otter, squid and a ‘vegimal.’ Each of the characters also has their own role within the team, and its this that really gives the show its amazing character interactions and wondrously catchy phrases for kids. Meomi, who created the Octonauts have done a real great job of capturing everything that children want in an adventure story and placing it in a team setting under the sea and this setting is where the show shines.
The ocean setting of the show is wonderful, you get to see creatures that live on the surface, the Daylight zone, The Night zone and the Midnight zone (I didn’t even know the Ocean had three designated zones!) along with meeting and learning new information about creatures in other water based areas around the globe. Two of the feature length episodes come to mind where the Octonauts visit the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest and encounter wildlife specific to each of these environments, such as River Dolphins and Capybara. Each encounter gives you the basic look of each animal along with the basic facts around how they live, what they eat and what it is that makes them different from other creatures in their environment. The level of facts that are presented is amazing, they’re obviously pitched at children but ive honestly learnt so much- and my daughter has really gained a level of knowledge around sea creatures and animals that is well above where it should be for a 2year old, as she can easily identify an Angler fish from and Angel fish and tell you whats unique about the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a and pronounce the word.
The show even provides huge amounts of information around the environments in which the creatures live and the Octonauts visit, such as the Coral Reef and the Thermal Vents of the midnight zone and how each of these zones is purpose-built to house the creatures that it does and how it helps them survive. This is such an educational show that I don’t know anything else designed for children that does such a great job of teaching children about the ocean and why its important for so many life forms- there’s even an episode that highlights the dangers of pollution to ocean life.
All of the above learning however would be pointless, if the show was good enough to catch the imagination of children- and its the character design and interactions that have this aspect nailed. Each of the characters from the main octonauts to the seas creatures looks distinctive and has their own personality on display from the minute they enter the show. Even the most ‘ugly’ looking of real sea creatures are given a more friendly looking approach (while staying treu to their natural look) so that children can easily identify the creatures when they reappear in later episodes. Of all the Octonuats Kwazi has to be the best, who just happens to be a cat pirate, as he is not only the most get up and go of the team but also is vital to each creature encounter as he gives the viewer a pirate tale on what the creature could be getting children interested in this, as there commonly monsters, before the true reveal takes place as the story unfolds. However each character has there own specialties, such a medic, mechanic, marine biologist, researcher, engineer and sea captain- and these roles are so well portrayed and so intriguing that my daughter now likes using a screwdriver to fix things ‘Like Tweaks does.’
I cant say enough good things about this show, and how great it is for children- the level of excitement and adventure that the show provides is great but when you add to that the learning and the genuine interest in encourages in the ocean and its creatures the show becomes much more than a basic 10minutes of distraction for children- it becomes a real educational and inspiring tool for younger children. This show is a must see for any child, so here’s a free episode.