Parents' Guide to

Backyard Wilderness

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Nature triumphs over devices in inspiring nature docu.

Movie NR 2018 45 minutes
Backyard Wilderness Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 6+

Nature Appreciation

Light on the science, but rather poetic 43 minutes about the beauty and cycles of nature outside (and inside in the case of the mouse and the people) a house in upstate New York. I paraphrase, "There are no victims in nature. . . Only predators and prey." as we see coyotes about to give chase to a flock of dear. Other stunning visuals (their are countless) include for example the flight of a bluejay, newborn ducklings leaping out of a tall tree before they can even fly, great mouse-eye view of the inner house travels of mice, time lapse of ferns pushing up through the soil and uncoiling, and salamanders crossing a country road to mate in a vernal pool (you'll learn what that is if you see the movie.) My four year old loved the first half, but got restless by the second half. My 6 year, my wife and I enjoyed the whole thingI We only saw the 2D version, but it almost seemed 3-D anyway.
age 4+

Must see for all ages!

Beautiful depiction of what we can see right outside our windows if we just take the time to really look!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

An ideal pick for nature lovers and budding environmentalists, this documentary is a tribute to the magical pull of nature right outside our homes and communities. The story uses narration and dialogue, but the real focus is always on nature. Katie, Ben, and their parents represent many Americans -- glued to their devices during most of their leisure time. The kids clearly suffer from what Last Child in the Woods author Richard Louv (whose work inspired the documentary) calls "nature-deficit disorder" ... until Katie learns to appreciate all of the flora and fauna right at her doorstep.

The visuals are impressive and memorable, like when a duckling takes its first leaps with Tom Petty's iconic "Free Falling" playing in the background. There are plenty of other breathtaking moments detailing births, deaths, and the power of seasons on animals' lives. Be ready to see salamanders mating, a fawn's birth, animals hatching, and fox hunting a deer. At a brisk 45 minutes, the movie is a true circle-of-life experience. Kids will understand Katie's story arc from a screen-obsessed technophile who's uncomfortable without her phone or tablet to a nature-friendly animal lover. The documentary's messages should hit their mark and prompt kids (and their parents) to explore their nearby green spaces, woods, animal sanctuaries, and more outdoors.

Movie Details

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