Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Splash and Bubbles

Splash and Bubbles

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 4 - 7 yrs.
Rating: TV G

Splash, a type of fish known as a yellowback fusilier, is best friends with Bubbles, another fish known as a mandarin dragonet. Their undersea school of pals includes Dunk, a nervous pufferfish, and Ripple, a seahorse who happens to have 499 borthers. Together, they explore Reeftown, seeking adventure and making new friends along the way. The program also offers lively musical numbers and short live-action interstitials, titled "Get Your Feet Wet," showing actual sea creatures and providing more fascinating facts about them.

Intended to introduce children to marine biology and ocean sciences while building social and emotional skills to "help kids discover the interconnectivity among all living creatures," each half-hour episode offers two separate storylines and even though they happen in the ocean, the plots and conflicts will feel familiar to the kindergarten audience. In "Lu the Explorer," a game of hide and seek reveals Dunk's fear of the dark. With good humor and gentle nudging, they try to help him overcome his fear but when that doesn't work, they seek advice from Lu. Turns out "Lu" is short for bioluminescence and she's a type of fish that makes her own light with the help of tiny bacteria. Lu introduces them to even more sea creatures who make their homes deep down in the depths of the sea and gives them a tuneful lesson in characteristics of those creatures who live in the dark. They prove to be so interesting that Dunk eventually gets over his fear of the unknown because he realizes it can lead to fascinating new experiences. In another episode titled "I've Got Rhythm?," Wave the octopus loves music but he lacks rhythm, a fact that leaves him embarrassed in front of his friends. Gush, an intelligent frog fish, smooths over the awkwardness by explaining facts about octopi, including the fact that each of an octopus's tentacles has its own nerve system, affecting the way it moves. Other episodes explore creatures such as sea dragons and fin whales, and explain the science behind currents and kelp forests.

A coproduction of The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises, Splash and Bubbles uses motion capture techniques that blend with animatronic interfaces, resulting in some of the most eye-popping animation created for television. The voice actors, skillfully cast and directed, bring life, depth and credibility to the characters.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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The Jim Henson Company

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