A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A good amount of information is given here, providing context for development of life in the oceans and on land. The Earth's evolution is on parade in this show, and some of the information is scientifically sound. However, the premise that "nature is in a constant state of war" inserts an opinion that's not scientific. Is this a documentary? Or is it a fictional historical drama? This show asserts that certain theories of evolution and adaptation are facts, and that there are three "rules of life." Scientists might disagree.
Work together to survive. Nature is intricate. Be curious. Change is the way of the universe. Don't be vulnerable. Watch out for your brethren. Uniqueness is beneficial. Fight for animal diversity. Take care of the planet.
Positive Role Models
Some animals in this show care for their young.
The narrator, Morgan Freeman, is a Black man. Some female animals are highlighted in the narrative, but they're sometimes portrayed as vulnerable to attack.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
For a nature documentary-style show, the ominous music, delight in "predation," descriptions of "chemical warfare" among plants and insects, the categorizing of catastrophes and mass extinctions and bloody fights feel purposeful. The purpose being to build a narrative that makes the natural world a cruel, inhospitable place. Fear, peril, and danger dominate in this show. The weak and gentle perish.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Breeding is mentioned but not shown.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Life on Our Planet, narrated by Morgan Freeman takes a trip back in time to the beginning of life on planet Earth, pausing to explain "rules" about life. These rules are based on interpretations of evolution and adaptation, but are featured as if they're absolute truth. And with Freeman's booming godlike voice, young kids might believe that "annihilation" and "global dominance" are the sole goals of life. Threat, injury, creepy chewing noises, ominous music, and flashing light effects might frighten sensitive viewers. Expect statements like: "annihilation was global," "she's adapted to a world where the best form of defense is attack," and "toxic seas, global wastelands, periods of endless rain" to describe nature's history and evolution. Some of the CGI effects are so excellent, it's difficult to know which images are real, and which are computer generated. Bloody fights between creatures and examples of "predation" dominate. Character strengths include perseverance and curiosity.
Is It Any Good?
Jurassic Park meets David Attenborough in this sweeping, CGI-riddled attempt at a history of Earth's evolution. Earth is a battlefield in Life on Our Planet (executive produced by Steven Spielberg), and the big losers are those who are interested in watching a nature documentary, rather than the CGI dramas that unfold here.
Is it cheating to marry computer-generated images with those of the natural world and package it as history? How can the viewer know what is actual and what is made up? The magic of movies like Jurassic Park lies in the fiction that feels like reality. This series tries to make reality into fiction, blurring lines of documentary integrity. Sensitive viewers can skip this one -- there are more glorious nature documentaries out there. Parents might want to point out that there are fictional representations of nature, as well as opinions about the principles of the natural world, at play in this show.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.