I love animals, all kinds of animals. For this reason, I usually don’t see movies or documentaries about animals. If I do, I’m the one in the theater next to you with that annoying sniffling cry thing. So, when I partnered up with Sea Studios Foundation to preview the movie “Otter 501” I waded lightly into the water, preparing myself to have some teary moments, and of course I did.
In case you haven’t heard about this family friendly documentary-type movie, Otter 501 is about a young pup otter that was found by a young woman named Katie when she washed up on the beach in California.
The star of the film is Katie Pofahl, a freshwater biologist from Wisconsin, who plays the person who found Otter 501. The three-day-old otter pup was actually rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium where a filmmaker was on-hand to document every step.
The film is told through Pofahl’s experiences as a volunteer at the Aquarium. She tells the story of the otters and environmental challenges through social media posts to friends and family.
Not only do you get to watch Otter 501’s rehabilitation through her stay at the aquarium, but you also learn a great deal about the history of otters and what dangers the declining environment is posing to these amazing creatures.
The film is probably best suited for ages 8-10 and up (depending on the maturity of the child), but it is extremely family-friendly (our four year old watched with us). The scene shots and film of the otters in the wild are magnificent.
I found the film a little “draggy” at the beginning, as it is a lot of back story about Katie and I just wanted to get to Otter 501. However, once it got into the history, information and animal shots, I was totally sucked in.
Otter 501 opens today, May 11, in limited release in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Monterey. If you get a chance and you’re interested in animals and the environment, then see it. Be sure to stay all the way through the credits because there is important information on one of the otters provided. (You’re welcome.)