If your younger kids love Finding Nemo and Finding Dory and are interested in exploring more about marine biology, PBS Kids’ new series Splash and Bubbles (premieres Nov. 23, check local listings) has plenty of undersea adventures, catchy songs, life lessons and a lot of fascinating oceanic facts. Geared toward kids ages 4-7, the animated series follows Reeftown residents Splash, a yellow fusilier fish, and Bubbles, a Mandarin dragonet, as they forge friendships with other sea creatures and learn about the complexity and diversity of ocean life.
The premiere episode opens with “Lu the Explorer,” Splash, Bubbles and their pals leave Reeftown and head to the deep sea to play hide and seek. There, they meet Lu, a female anglerfish, who explains bioluminescence and how creatures live and see in the dark. We also meet Lu’s husband Bob, who is permanently attached to his mate in an arrangement I didn’t want to fully explain to my 4-year-old, but gave me a few laughs. In the second story, “I’ve Got Rhythm?”, Wave the octopus isn’t thrilled about the Reeftown Rhythm Festival, mostly because he’s an invertebrate and he’s embarrassed about how he dances. Wave eventually learns to appreciate the uniqueness of his flailing-tentacle dance. Each story concludes with an educational live-action “Get Your Feet Wet” segment. The first one introduces us to giant isopods and giant spider crabs. The second segment is about how the octopus can squeeze into tight places because, as the catchy tune tells us, he has “exactly zero bones!”
Splash and Bubbles is created by John Tartaglia (ImaginOcean, Johnny and the Sprites), and coproduced by The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises. “Through the adventures of Splash and Bubbles, we hope to inspire environmentalism, empathy and curiosity about the vast world of marine biology,” says Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “We hope the series becomes a starting point for children to build confidence in their ability to make a difference in our environment and inspires a lifetime of learning.”
Also on Nov. 23 (check local listings) is the debut of a special extended episode of Wild Kratts called “Creatures of the Deep Sea,” in which the Wild Kratts team ventures into the deep sea aboard Aviva’s newly designed Deep Sea Explorer.
— PBS KIDS (@PBSKIDS) November 20, 2016