January 14, 2012

The Octonauts - Seaquest DSV for the Disney Junior set

Or maybe Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, or Sealab 2020, or maybe The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteu, or even Stingray with a little bit of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (and a dash of the Thunderbirds) thrown in for good measure.

The Octonauts is a Children’s TV Series, produced by Silvergate Media for Cbeebies and animated by Brown Bag Films. The TV series is based on the children’s books written by Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy of Meomi Design Inc. [See more below]

This latest offering from Disney Junior, is a fun, flashy, action-adventure pre-school show. The Octonauts are eight explorers who live, work and play aboard their mobile under-sea base the Octopod. Each (very) short episode finds them living their mantra of "Explore, Rescue, Protect."

These episodes are tiny science lessons as they introduce the audience to real under-sea creatures and habitats. There's also a catchy wrap-up tune that recaps what they learned about that episodes sea creature, much like Bob Ballard did at the end of SeaQuest DSV. But, you know, minus the singing and dancing.

And, my three-year old seems to love it! Which is cool because it takes me back to my own childhood hopes and dreams and the sort of books, shows and events that shaped them.

For a brief period during my youth I wanted to be an oceanographer, just like Jacques Cousteau. I met Mr. Cousteau -- as many of you did -- in the 70's, on board the Calypso during one of his many televised adventures. We also had, in our household, a subscription to National Geographic magazine and those awesome Time-Life science books (which would also spark my interest in space travel and perhaps becoming an astronaut).

I was also huge fan of Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954), Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964) and Hanna-Barbera's Sealab 2020 (1972).

It wasn't until much later that I would discover the incredibly fab Stingray (1964), from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, creators of the Thunderbirds (1965).

And even later on of course, there was SeaQuest DSV Season 1 (1993). No, I do NOT count seasons 2 & 3, and I will not discuss it further.

ANYWAY... Back to The Octonauts!

The Octonauts are the creation of Meomi.
MEOMI is Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy. Vicki and Michael both write and illustrate the Octonauts books.

Meomi's artwork has been featured in numerous illustration and design books, while their art has appeared on a wide variety of merchandise worldwide. They are the designers of the beloved Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic mascots (Quatchi, Miga, Sumi and Mukmuk).

The Octonauts appeared in a series of four books were first published in the USA by Immedium in 2006, and were republished in the UK by Harper Collins in 2009. They were; The Octonauts & the Only Lonely Monster, The Octonauts & the Sea of Shade, The Octonauts & the Frown Fish, The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef.

The TV series was later co-produced by Chorion and Brown Bag Films for CBeebies (a BBC television channel for the 7-and-under range) where it first aired on 4 October 2010. And now, the series has debuted on Disney Junior, airing daily at 11:30 AM est.

Again, my three-year old loves it. And if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me! "Octonauts at ease, until the next adventure!"

You can read more about the Octonauts here:
Disney Junior
The Octonauts
ABC For Kids

Sources: Octonauts.com, Wikipedia and IMDb

And here is some bonus video fun...

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