This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2008-10-21 — sourcemeta

Author:Ken Tucker

“Ocean” minors

Disney floats an enchanting aquatic fantasy series

A family show that just might charm adults and children equally, ocean girl (Disney, Oct. 3, 7:30-8 p.m.) is a new Australian-made series about Neri, a young woman who lives on an otherwise uninhabited island. As played by Marzena Godecki, Neri is a beatific ocean girl, swimming like a lithe dolphin alongside her favorite humpback whale, or spearing a fish underwater to cook for dinner over a fire on the beach. It’s easy to see why the Disney Channel was attracted to Ocean Girl – it’s a tidied-up fantasy about what it’s like to be a young person living on your own. Neri’s idyllic existence is interrupted, however, by the arrival of Orca, a futuristic undersea laboratory stationed at the Great Barrier Reef that conducts deep-sea experiments. Here our protagonists are two boys, brothers Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker), sons of a marine biologist (Kerry Armstrong, who’s also aboard). In true Disney fashion, it’s the kids, Jason and Brett, who first make contact with Neri. As science fiction, Ocean Girl has a narrative confidence and complexity that already make it better than, say, seaQuest DSV; as fantasy, it has a marvelous presence in Godecki, whose huge brown eyes and slinky swimming make her an alluring sea-siren. B+