This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2008-05-01 — sourcemeta

Author:Mike Duffy (Detroit Free Press)

“Ocean Girl” has charm and a fabulous setting

Sometimes, simple is sweet. And more entertaining.

Compared to the high-priced “seaQuest D.S.V.,” NBC’s waterlogged, overwrought sci-fi series from Steven Spielberg, “Ocean Girl” is a fresh breeze of low-key, amiable fantasy-adventure for young viewers.

Filmed on location off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, “Ocean Girl” debuts at 7:30 p.m. today on cable’s Disney Channel.

The half-hour weekly series weaves the charming, mysterious tale of Neri (Marzena Godecki), a girl from the sea who has been living in lush tropical isolation on a solitary, sun-swept island.

But Neri’s idyllic life is interrupted by encounters with the Australian scientists, crew members and children of ORCA, a futuristic underwater research colony.

A pair of brothers, Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker), who have recently moved to ORCA with their marine biologist mother (Kerry Armstrong), are the first to discover this strange, enchanting sea siren.

The resourceful Neri is blessed with an astonishing ability to dive to extraordinary ocean depths without a breathing apparatus. Her best friend is Charley, a 40-ton humpback whale. They communicate telepathically.

Besides Marzena Godecki’s appealing lead performance, “Ocean Girl” offers beautiful scenery, those cool Aussie accents and an engaging, well-told story. Three stars.