A Wonderful Little Nature Documentary
Puff: Wonders of the Reef is a wonderful little nature documentary and a perfect treat for families to enjoy. With Rose Byrne on narration duties, this hour-long documentary charts the wonders of the coral reef, following the journey of a baby Pufferfish from birth to adulthood.
The story is relatively straightforward but much like David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds One Kingdom, the focus here is on a single creature and showing their trials and tribulations through life. Instead of hunting dogs or a group of chimps though, our focus descends under the ocean.
Our journey takes place deep in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, with a baby pufferfish called Puff. With slick camera work, this documentary then follows this little fish as it navigates the dangerous fish-eat-fish world of the blue world it inhabits.
Whether it be journeying across sand flats or evading predators, each segment of Puff serves a specific focus. Around the journey Puff takes are numerous educational tidbits; facts about our ocean that are as informative as they are amusing.
It would be easy to go into this one and point at the humour as a little too silly. “Puff is so hungry he could eat a horse!” Rose quips at one point, as the next scene shows a seahorse. Jokes like this are going to be love/hate for some people (as a Dad who loves Dad jokes, it’s absolutely up my alley!) But it’s also the humour that families with kids will probably get the most out of.
This isn’t just designed for kids though, and there’s actually some really engaging segments here that everyone will enjoy. Learning more about the microscopic creatures living within the reefs is absolutely fascinating, as is the absolute gut punch of seeing bleached coral reefs during one of the film’s surprisingly poignant segments.
At only an hour long, the ending does feel like it cuts Puff’s journey short. It would have been nice to see the cycle come to a satisfying close, with Puff finding a mate and having babies, but that’s a minor gripe in what’s otherwise a really engaging watch.
The camera work is also good, although some of the zoom shots are a little overkill at times. The first few times are neat but it’s a recurring motif that eventually becomes overkill by the end.
Despite those gripes, Puff: Wonders of the Reef is an enjoyable and engaging nature documentary. It’s informative and educational, and at only an hour long this is the perfect doc to watch with the kids. Whether this will “blow up” on Netflix or not remains to be seen but it’s certainly worth a watch nonetheless!
Verdict - 7.5/10