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The Octonauts is a British children's television series, produced by Silvergate Media for the BBC channel CBeebies. The series is animated in Ireland by Brown Bag Films but uses British voice actors. The TV series is based on American-Canadian children's books written by Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy of Meomi Design Inc.

The Octonauts
OctonautsTitleCard.jpg
Kwazii, Barnacles and Peso
Genre Children
Animation
Action
Adventure film
Created by Meomi: Vicki Wong
& Michael C. Murphy
Written by Stephanie Simpson (head writer)
Billy Aronson
Glen Berger
Ian Carney
Cydne Clark
Cusi Cram
Sarah Durkee
Steve Granat
Carin Greenberg
Jonathan Greenberg
Peter Hirsch
Adam Idelson
Dave Ingham
Susan Kim
Catherine Lieuwen
Myles Mcleod
Allan Neuwirth
Sascha Paladino
Gabe Pulliam
Directed by Darragh O'Connell
Henry Lenardin-Madden (uncredited)
Creative director(s) Stephen Robinson
Voices of Simon Greenall
Rob Rackstraw
Paul Panting
Keith Wickham
Jo Wyatt
Teresa Gallagher
Michael C. Murphy
Theme music composer Darren Hendley
Country of origin United Kingdom
Ireland
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 96 (currently) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Kurt Mueller
Stephanie Simpson
Cathal Gaffney
Darragh O'Connell
Jackie Edwards (CBeebies)
Producer(s) Adam Idelson
Karen Ialacci
Gillian Higgins
Running time 65 x 11 minutes
3 x 23 minutes
Production company(s) Brown Bag Films
Distributor 9 Story International Distribution
Release
Original network CBeebies (UK)
Disney Junior (US)
Original release 4 October 2010 (2010-10-04) – present
External links
Meomi official website www.octonauts.com

The Octonauts follows an underwater exploring crew made up of stylized anthropomorphic animals, a team of eight adventurers who live in an undersea base, the Octopod, from where they go on undersea adventures with the help of a fleet of aquatic vehicles.

The subject matter is reminiscent of Star Trek and Thunderbirds[1] blended with Jacques Cousteau. Although its technology is fictional, the exotic creatures and locations that the crew encounter are real marine animals in their natural habitats.

Contents

Books

The original books were first published in the USA by Immedium in 2006, and were republished in the UK by Harper Collins in 2009. Six titles by Meomi have been published:

  • The Octonauts & the Only Lonely Monster, about an Architeuthis (Giant Squid).
  • The Octonauts & the Sea of Shade, about a world where everyone's shadows have gone missing.
  • The Octonauts & the Frown Fish, about a glum-looking catfish.
  • The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef, about a dying coral reef.
  • The Octonauts Explore the Great Big Ocean, about the search for Tunip the Vegimal's home.
  • The Octonauts & the Growing Goldfish, about Dunkie, a giant goldfish who won't stop growing.

TV series

In 2010, The Octonauts was adapted into a 52 episode CGI animated television series co-produced by Chorion and Brown Bag Films. It first aired in the UK on 4 October 2010 on CBeebies, a BBC television channel for the under 7's. The first series ended in February 2011, but continued to be aired as repeats. A second series of 22 episodes commenced in November 2012.

The Octonauts had its US premiere on the Disney Channel in January 2012, however many of the characters' voices were redubbed to give them American accents (Hispanic in the case of Peso and Pinto), although Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Prof. Inkling retained their original British voices.[2] It has also been shown in Ireland (RTÉ Two), Canada (Treehouse TV), and Australia (ABC Television). The show has been translated and shown in French (TF1), Spanish and Portuguese (Discovery Kids Latin America), Finnish (YLE TV2), Welsh (S4C) and Slovakian (STV 2).[3]

The series was made with the help of marine biologists Dr. Lara A. Ferry-Graham and Dr. Michael H. Graham, who had previously worked on the making of Finding Nemo.[1]

The TV show is episodic, with each 11 minute episode seeing them encountering an unusual but real sea creature as they explore strange underwater worlds. Often they must discover a vital biological or behavioural fact about that creature to rescue it or themselves from danger. The stories usually feature three main characters: Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso, with the other five Octonauts acting in supporting roles.

In the TV series they use five sea-creature-inspired underwater vehicles called GUP-A to GUP-E, the pedal driven GUP-F, driven by Captain Barnacles and Kwazii, which appears in Episode 10 of Series 1 (The Speedy Sailfish), the narwhal-shaped submarine Gup-S that can split so one half goes over land, the train-shaped vegimal-driven Gup-V, and the powerful and sturdy tracked GUP-X, first appearing in Episode 52 of Series 1 (The Great Christmas Rescue).

The opening theme tune finishes with the chant "Explore! - Rescue! - Protect!", the Octonauts’ motto.

TV spin-off books

A series of shorter books based on individual episodes from the TV series is being published by Simon & Schuster. These titles can be distinguished by the "As seen on TV" label on the covers and are not written or illustrated by Meomi.[4] The books have the same titles as the episodes they are based on.

Reception

The TV series was well received when shown on CBeebies in the UK and by ABC in Australia. According to the authors' website, it was the No. 1 pre-school age show in the UK, and the first pre-school show to be ranked in the top ten by older audiences (aged 4–15).[5] The show was the top-ranked ABC programme for 5-12 year olds in January 2011 in Australia, with the ABC calling its first month an "unprecedented success online and on-air".[6] It has been rated 7.4 out of 10 on IMDb.[7] In 2013, Octonauts was nominated for (but did not win) two awards: an International Emmy Award in the "Kids—Preschool" category[8] and an Irish Film and Television Award in the "Best Children's/Youth Programme" category.[9] The Octonauts DVD boxed set was 4th best-selling Children's TV DVD at Amazon UK as of 7 April 2013.[10]

Characters

Part Name Species Voice cast Features
Captain Barnacles Polar bear Simon Greenall (speaking voice)
Ross Breen (singing voice)
Barnacles is the brave polar bear captain of the Octonauts. He can drive any ship or gup, and is strong enough to lift a giant clam. Catchphrases: "Octonauts, let's do this", "Sound the Octo-Alert!", "Octonauts, to the launch bay!" and "Hold on, this could get bumpy".
Lieutenant and Cryptozoologist Kwazii Cat Rob Rackstraw A cat who speaks in a Cockney accent. Kwazii is a daredevil cat with a mysterious pirate past. He believes in many sea monsters such as the Nackerwhack, Tri-Toothed-Terror, Giant Shrimp Monster, Monster of Creepy Cove and others and likes to drive fast in the Gup-B. In the episode "The Octonauts and the Giant Spider Crab", it is revealed that he has a fear of spiders. Catchphrases: "Shiver me whiskers" and "Yeow!".
Medic Peso Penguin Paul Panting (UK) Wayne Grayson (US) He is a penguin with a British accent (Spanish accent in the US version) and the medic of the Octonauts. He is not fond of scary situations, but if someone is hurt or in trouble he can be the bravest Octonaut of all. He has a younger brother called Pinto. Catchphrase: "Flappity flippers!".
Oceanographer and Founder Professor Inkling, Inkling, or Professor Grimpoteuthis (Dumbo octopus) Keith Wickham An octopus who speaks in a posh accent. Inkling brought the Octonauts together, to study the oceans and have adventures. Catchphrase: "Fascinating!"
Scientist (Marine biologist) Shellington (Dr) Sea otter Keith Wickham A sea otter who speaks with a Scottish accent. Shellington is a scientist who knows a lot about ocean creatures. He is not a very good driver and once crashed the GUP-D. Catchphrase: "Jumping jellyfish!" and "Fascinating".
Engineer Tweak Rabbit Jo Wyatt Jaimie Kelton (US, season 1) A rabbit who speaks with a Southern-US accent. Tweak lives and works in the launch bay. She often invents things like the GUP-X, GUP-S, the Octo-Max suit, and the Friend Finder she made for her friend, Sandy the leatherback sea turtle. She often refers to Captain Barnacles as "Cap". Catchphrases: "Right away, Cap!" and "...faster than you can say 'buncha munchy crunchy carrots'!".
Information technology Officer and Photographer Dashi (Sauci In The Books) Dog (Dachshund) Teresa Gallagher (UK) Mary Murphy (US) A dog who speaks with a New Zealand accent (American in the US version). Dashi is the photographer for the Octonauts, and takes care of all the computers aboard the Octopod. Catchphrase: "Already on it captain!".
Ship's Cook and Gardener Tunip Vegimal Michael C. Murphy Vegimals are half-animal, half-vegetable creatures – Tunip is half-tuna, half-turnip. He loves to make kelp cakes and work in the garden-pod. He often faints at shocking news. Catchphrase: "Cheepa cheepa!" and "Zuupa zuupa!". He and the other vegimals primarily speak Vegimalese, a language made of chirps and warbles that only Shellington understands (sometimes), though they also speak a limited amount of English (with a Vegimalese accent). The vegimals were discovered by Shellington as eggs attached to the side of the Octopod. To protect them he brought them into his lab, where they hatched a few days later. After a few weeks they established themselves as an integral part of the crew.[11]

Note: Recent UK editions of the books changed Sauci's name to Dashi to match the television series.

Other Vegimals[11]

  • Albachoy, half-bok choy and half-albacore
  • Barrot, half-bass, half-carrot. Although nervous, he can go super fast in an emergency.
  • Carprika, half-paprika and half-carp
  • Charchard, half-chard and half-char
  • Codish, half-cod, half-radish. He is very clumsy and also causes accidents.
  • Grouber, half-grouper, half-tuber. He is big and can eat almost anything.
  • Halibeet, half-beet and half-halibut
  • Maccoli, half-broccoli and half-mackerel
  • Perchkin, half-pumpkin and half-perch
  • Pikato, half-tomato and half-pike
  • Tominnow, half-minnow, half-tomato. She is the littlest one, but she is also a daredevil.
  • Salepeño, half-jalapeño and half-salmon
  • Sharchini, half-zucchini, half-shark
  • VegiBot, a vegimal robot (episode: Mariana Trench Adventure)
  • Wallabaga, half-rutabaga and half-walleye
  • Yamchovy, half-anchovy and half-yam

Recurrent minor characters

  • Calico Jack, a pirate cat and Kwazii's grandfather. His exploits are frequently talked about but he is assumed long-dead until he finally makes an appearance in the Amazon Adventure special. In real life, the pirate Calico Jack was the creator of the Jolly Roger, though the Octonauts character's name might also be an allusion to the Calico cat.
  • Pinto, Peso's little brother, a young penguin who visits in episode 24, episode 32 and the Great Penguin Race special. He initially aspires to be a pirate like Kwazii but later decides he'd rather be a medic like Peso.
  • Sandy the sea turtle, a good friend of Tweak's. She swims long distances and makes appointments to meet the Octonauts in several episodes.
  • Boris the narwhal, a friend of Captain Barnacle's from when he was young. Boris remains in the Arctic but the Octonauts meet him in several episodes.
  • Pearl the sea otter and Shellington's married sister who recently had a baby named Periwinkle, first seen in the episode The Urchin Invasion.
  • Bianca the polar bear is the twin sister of Captain Barnacles, she and her cubs appeared in the Great Arctic Adventure.
  • Orson and Ursa, Bianca's cubs and the niece and nephew of Captain Barnacles, they first in the Great Arctic Adventure and episode 99.
  • Professor Natquik the artic fox who is also a polar explorer and Captain Barnacles's old friend, first seen in Operation Deep Freeze.
  • Ranger Marsh, a park ranger and Tweak's father, first seen in the Great Swamp Search.
  • Koshi, Dashi's little sister, first seen in the episode The Kelp Monster Mystery.

Vehicles

  • The Octopod is their mobile home base and the biggest vehicle. It is built to look like a giant octopus.
  • The GUP-A is propeller-powered and Captain Barnacles' favorite. It is built to look like an anglerfish.
  • Kwazii's favorite, the GUP-B is a turbo sub so is the fastest of all GUPs. It is built to look like a tiger shark.
  • The strong GUP-C has a towline and is powerful enough to tow an elephant seal. It can also be used as an icebreaker when fitted with a special reinforced prow. It is built to look like a blue whale.
  • Multi-purpose GUP-D has two claws, two drills and six legs. It is also Tweak's favorite. It is built to look like a manta ray (or a crab when legged).
  • The GUP-E is an ambulance GUP and colored green. A tank behind can be filled with water for creatures with gills. It is built to look like a guppy.
  • The GUP-F was a pedal-powered metal-framed vehicle only seen in series 1, episode 10, Octonauts and the Speedy Sailfish, used to round up the runaway GUPs A-E. It was built to look like a clownfish. In the episode "The Artificial Reef" the GUP-F is destroyed by a hurricane and is converted into an artificial reef. In the same episode, it is also revealed by Tweak that it was the very first prototype GUP built.
  • The GUP-H is built to look like a dragonfly, to soar above the sea, and watch the animals hop in and out of the water. It is first seen in series 4, episode 1, The Poison Dart Frogs.
  • The GUP-I is an polar exploration station and rugged vehicle first seen in the 8th special, Operation Deep Freeze. It is built to look like a water bear.
  • The GUP-K is a half air-boat, half-tank vehicle that can float on surface and is first seen in the 9th and latest special, The Great Swamp Search to save Tweak's hometown the Everglades from fire. It is built to look like a crocodile or an alligator.
  • The GUP-S is an Antarctic exploration vehicle first seen in the 6th special episode The Over Under Adventure. Like the GUP-X, it can split in 2 sections, with the front part forming an amphibious snowmobile called the Octo-Sled. The Gup-S is built to look like a swordfish or narwhal, with a tusk-like ice-penetrating heated drill at the front.
  • The GUP-V is a vehicle designed by the Vegimals in the 5th special episode, A Very Vegimal Christmas. It is shaped like a train.
  • The GUP-X is a powerful and sturdy tracked vehicle presented to Captain Barnacles as a Christmas present from Tweak. It can split into 3 sections, for instance, a glider, the 'Octo-Ski' and its central main section with the caterpillar tracks. It is first seen in series 1, episode 52, The Great Christmas Rescue. It is built to look like a horseshoe crab.
  • The Deep Sea Octolab is a moveable base from which the deepest parts of the ocean can be studied and first appears in the 4th special episode, The Mariana Trench Adventure. It is dome-shaped and stands on springy legs to cope with subterranean tremors.

Episodes

DVDs

The BBC have released three Octonauts DVDs, comprising episodes from the first series along with their associated "Creature Reports". The UK DVDs are Region 2 format, playable in European DVD players:

  • Here Come the Octonauts (episodes 1–8)
  • Octonauts – To The Gups (episodes 9–16 plus 1st special episode)
  • Octonauts – Ready for Action (episodes 17–24, 2nd special episode, plus 3 minute video How to Make a Gup X)

A boxed set of all three DVDs was released under the title Octonauts – The Collection in September 2012.[12]

Australia

Octonauts is distributed on region 4 DVD in Australia by Roadshow Entertainment on behalf of the ABC.[citation needed]

DVD Title Episodes Release Date
Meet the Octonauts! Series 1, episodes 1–7 2 September 2011[13]
To The Gups! Series 1, episodes 8–14 17 November 2011[14]
Ready For Action Series 1, episodes 15–21 1 March 2012[15]
Sound the Octoalert! Series 1, episodes 22–28 21 June 2012[16]
Jumpin' Jellyfish Series 1, episodes 29–35 5 September 2012[17]
Shiver me Whiskers! Series 1, episodes 36–42 6 March 2013 [18]
The Great Penguin Race Series 1, episodes 43–47 and Great Penguin Race special 19 June 2013 [19]
GUP-X to the Rescue! Series 2, episodes 1–5 and Great Christmas Rescue special 4 September 2013[20]
Amazon Adventure Series 2, episodes:
  • Amazon Adventure (special)
  • Bowhead Whales
  • Damselfish
  • Jawfish
  • Fiddler Crabs
  • Manta Rays
2 January 2014[21]
Calling all GUPs! Series 2, episodes:
  • Porcupine Puffer
  • Scared Sperm Whale
  • Long Arm Squid
  • Swashbuckling Swordfish
  • Manatees
  • Saltwater Crocodile
  • Humphead Parrotfish
11 June 2014[22]
Deep Sea Adventure! Series 2 and 3, episodes:
  • Mariana Trench Adventure (special)
  • Scared Sperm Whale
  • Long-Arm Squid
  • Gulper Eels
  • Sea Pigs
  • Yeti Crab
3 September 2014[23]
Flappity Flippers! Series 2 and 3, episodes:
  • Cone Snails
  • Harbour Seal
  • Lionfish
  • Mimic Octopus
  • Mudskippers
  • Lion's Mane Jellyfish
  • Leafy Sea Dragons
7 January 2015[24]
Great Arctic Adventure Series 2 and 3, episodes:
  • Great Arctic Adventure (special)
  • Triggerfish
  • Humpback Whales
  • Barracudas
  • Urchin Invasion
  • Siphonophore
3 June 2015[25]
Here Come the Vegimals Series 3, episodes:
  • Very Vegimals Christmas (special)
  • Water Bears
  • Pelicans
  • Red Rock Crabs
  • Sea Sponge
  • Immortal Jellyfish
4 November 2015[26]
Over Under Adventure Series 3, episodes:
  • Over Under Adventure (special)
  • Walrus Pups
  • Hidden Lake
  • Tree Lobsters
  • Mantis Shrimp
  • Convict Fish
2 March 2016[27]
The Great Swamp Search TBC 6 July 2016[28]

The first four DVDs have sold together as the Octonauts Starter Pack since 2016.

Spin-offs

The Octonauts brand has been licensed by the production company for numerous spin-off activities. These include Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure, a themed rollercoaster within the CBeebies Land of Alton Towers theme park and themed bedrooms with the CBeebies Land Hotel. There is also a travelling live show called Octonauts Live, which has toured in the U.S.[29] and other countries.

An Octonauts app was launched for iOS on 17 November 2016, produced in partnership with Night and Day Studios.[30]

References

  1. ^ a b interview with executive producer Kurt Mueller BBC Press Office
  2. ^ Amazon customer review
  3. ^ S4C Octonots page.
  4. ^ Amazon customer review
  5. ^ Meomi Octonauts website
  6. ^ Multiplatform success for ABC For Kids series, Octonauts
  7. ^ The Octonauts on IMDb (Retrieved 8 April 2013)
  8. ^ International Emmy Kids Awards Nominees
  9. ^ Irish Film and Television Awards
  10. ^ Amazon best-seller list retrieved 7 April 2013
  11. ^ a b Meomi (2013). The Octonauts Explore The Great Big Ocean. HarperCollins Children's Books. ISBN 978-0007510610. 
  12. ^ Octonauts - The Collection (DVD) at BBC website
  13. ^ "Octonauts - Meet The Octonauts | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  14. ^ "Octonauts - To The Gups! | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "Octonauts - Ready For Action | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Octonauts - Sound The Octoalert! | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Octonauts - Jumpin' Jellyfish | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Octonauts - Shiver Me Whiskers | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "Octonauts - The Great Penguin Race | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "Octonauts - GUP-X to the Rescue! | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Octonauts - Amazon Adventure | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Octonauts - Calling all GUPs | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  23. ^ "Octonauts - Deep Sea Adventure! | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "Octonauts - Flappity Flippers | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  25. ^ "Octonauts - Great Arctic Adventure | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Octonauts - Here Come The Vegimals | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Octonauts - Over Under Adventure | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  28. ^ "Octonauts - The Great Swamp Search | DVD". ABC Shop. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  29. ^ Octonauts Live! 
  30. ^ "Silvergate and Night & Day Studios launch first ever Octonauts app" (PDF) (Press release). New York and London: Silvergate Media. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 

External links