The Octonauts is a lovely television show. It is greatly educational and seems to teach about problem solving, bravery, and oceanic life. My kids love it. I love it… sometimes. Here are a few of my issues with it:

Kwazii’s obsession with piracy.qwazi

Excerpt from Kwazii’s and Captain Barnacle’s Annual Performance Review:

Captain Barnacle: “Another incredible season Kwazii. You have proven yourself an invaluable member of the team. Your energy is almost palpable, you have more gumption than any cat I’ve ever met and while you may be a little overzealous at times, things always seem to work themselves out within 11 minutes or so.”

Kwazii: “Well, thank you Captain, I am surrounded by a great team.”

Captain Barnacle: “Yes, indeed. The team. The team and I have had some concerns this past season about the pirate stuff. When I hired you, I assumed you would embrace the title of ‘Octonaut’ and leave your pirate past behind you. But look at yourself Kwazii… you have been wearing a superfluous eye patch for five seasons now. Peso is concerned that prolong periods of wearing an eye patch over a perfectly good eye will cause irreversible damage.”

Kwazzi begins to cry.

Captain Barnacle: “Kwazii, we care about you. But it’s time to accept that you are an Octonaut now, not a pirate. We don’t need a pirate on this team, we need an Octonaut. Every time I hear you say something like, ‘Arrrrrr Matey‘ or ‘Shiver Me Whiskers‘, I’m heartbroken.” And Pirates are the worst. Its “explore, rescue, protect.” Not “rape, steal, and murder.”

Kwazii: “I know Captain and the truth is… well, I’ve never been a real pirate. I’m just so… afraid that if I stop acting like a pirate and being so animated all the time, the team will lose interest in me and… and… abandon me in a cardboard box somewhere.”

Captain Barnacle stands and surrounds Kwazii in a tearful bear hug.

Captain Barnacle: “We love you Kwazii. That will never change.”

Kwazii has a cathartic sob.

Who’s paying for all this stuff? 

octopod

It is evident that the Octonauts are currently “alive” on our planet at this very moment on oceanic missions and they seem to be British. One would logically assume that they are being funded by the NERC (Natural Environment Research Council).

The NERC has backed many a glorious mission into the depths to get a glimpse of deep sea creatures, coral ecosystems, oceanic mapping etc. And the Octopod is brimming with scientists, researchers, engineers, oceanographers, etc. This is exactly the sort of thing the NERC would be behind.

So… Why isn’t there any explanation of where their exorbitant funds come from… Do you have any idea how many millions of dollars it would take to build the Octopod? Me neither.

The Octonauts never told me. 

What a tremendously large missed opportunity to teach children (and adults) about HOW to be part of something of this magnitude. Give us an episode about grant writing, budgets, documentation, and audits!

My son (and I) would like to be an Octonaut when he grows up but he literally has no idea about how to go about it. He is assuming that if he acts like a pirate and says “Yeeoow!” constantly, the opportunity will just fall in his lap.

Their missions are often a waste of time.

seahorse

I don’t mean to sound heartless but… why? Why are the Octonauts so hellbent on saving injured fish and creatures that are clearly going to die?

Death is a necessary part of life in the ocean. If someone saved every injured or genetically abnormal creature in the ocean wouldn’t that be a HUGE bummer for their predators and future offspring? I’m no Darwin but wouldn’t you think that if a fish was too weak to survive then maybe it needs to be pulled from the gene pool.

Sir David Attenborough explained it this way, “If I saw a little baby gazelle and a cheetah coming along about to pounce on it, if I nipped out… and said boo to the cheetah… you would have a frightened the baby gazelle, and a cheetah which would perhaps go away… to attack another baby gazelle. The little baby gazelle would be so traumatized it would be lost, so you actually make things far worse by interfering than not.”

If the Octonauts were truly out to save the ocean, why wouldn’t their episodes be exclusively working with the humans that are spoiling things by: illegal fishing, illegal dumping, spilling oil all over, and causing havoc with the whole global warming thing?

There are real problems that oceanic life faces and it’s NOT injured fins or baby seahorses being separated from their fathers.

The Vegimals.

OCTONAUTS - "A Very Vegimals Xmas" - The Vegimals' plans for a Christmas feast aboard the Octopod are interrupted when the Octonauts are all entangled in a gigantic blob of sea slime. This episode of "Octonauts" airs Friday, December 13 (9:00 AM - 9:30 AM ET/PT), on Disney Junior. (Disney Junior via Getty Images) VEGIMALS

The only explanation for adding a half-fish half-vegetable species to the Octonaut team:

Excerpts from fictitious interview with Decorated Naval Commander and Head Writer.

Writer: “I’ve had a few minor expeditions but you have over 4 years under. What is really like down there for months at a time?”

Commander: “Honestly, being stuck in a steel tube with a bunch of dudes for months and months leads people to lose touch with reality a little.”

Writer: “Really?”

Commander: “Sure. I remember being up for 36 hours on watch, catching a 45 minute nap, and then being up for another 36 hour watch… That was the first time I had the vision.”

Writer: “Vision?”

Commander: Every guy who’s been under for a substantial amount of time can admit they know the Vegimals… they’re these half-fish half-vegetable creatures… they dance around and speak with a high pitched Blue’s Clues kind of voice. It’s almost a right of passage. When a guy starts talking to the Vegimals, you know he’s a real submariner.”

Writer: “Hmmm. That sounds pretty wierd. I think we’ll leave that out of the children’s tv show.”

Commander stands up, red-faced with anger and shouts, 

Commander: “No! The Vegimals keep our spirits alive out there in the dark. Ask anyone who’s ever been there. If they aren’t part of the show… we’re pulling our funding. They’re like family!”

Writer: “Oh.”

The face my son gets when I say, “No more Octonauts.”

sad kid

The End

 

Written by Kristin

Kristin is mother, social worker, wife and writer. She believes in second chances and in the power of picture books. She is also the co-author (with Brian) of the upcoming children's book, Candy Monster.

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