A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Biodiversity, environmental science, and ecosystem health are explored.
Animal species die out because the ecosystem has been changed or disrupted, but they can be brought back to robust numbers through scientific intervention. Curiosity is valued.
Positive Role Models
Environmental scientists, park rangers, and students are shown working together to figure out and solve issues of dwindling populations in three animal species.
Violence & Scariness
Ants swarm, cover, and kill a crab; dozens of dead crabs are then shown. A reenactment shows a hunter shooting a bow and arrow, which seems to strike a monkey. Bird picks over the carcass of a dead animal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Back from the Brink: Saved from Extinction is a 39-minute IMAX science documentary about endangered species that comes from the the Russo brothers (the directors of several Avengers movies). Narrated by Claire Danes, the film explains in clear terms why the featured creatures are nearing extinction and how environmental scientists are tackling the problem. Iffy content is minimal, but kids may be alarmed by some of the realities of nature, including a bird picking at an animal carcass and ants swarming a crab. There's also a reenactment of how hunters used to track the Golden Monkey: A hunter shoots a bow and arrow, and the film cuts to a shot of a monkey falling. It's in black and white to make the distinction that it happened in the past, but younger kids might think they just watched a beautiful animal being killed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If Avengers filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo know anything, it's how to please young audiences, and that insight is applied to this engaging nature documentary. Back from the Brink: Saved from Extinction is exactly what parents want from a science museum film: It's quick (39 minutes), educational, and hopeful, and kids will get it. First, the animals are adorable: a little fox, a fuzzy monkey, and somehow, even the crabs are cute. While the movie is about death and why these populations are dwindling, it doesn't dwell on the circle-of-life visuals that typically upset young viewers. Instead, it simply identifies what the problem is and then gets to solving it, all set against astounding giant screen cinematography. And it's actually more motivating than the traditional conservation film because it concentrates on success stories. Kids walk away knowing that if they put their time and brain to work, their efforts just might pay off.
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.
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