A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The documentary offers a bleak take on the state of the planet, as a result of climate change. But it concludes with some hopeful messages. Viewers are encouraged to make positive changes in order to save the planet, before it's too late.
Positive Role Models
Attenborough's love for nature and his desire to help save the planet are evident throughout. He is blunt in his summary of the state of the world, but also provides hope with a list of ways in which we can help save the planet. Human behavior is blamed for the cause of the environmental destruction depicted in the film.
Violence & Scariness
Multiple references to irreparable damage to the planet. Scenes of environmental devastation. Animals fall to their death. Animals are seen in distress. The abandoned city of Chernobyl is depicted with reference to the nuclear disaster that occurred there.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In archive footage, someone is seen smoking a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is a must-watch nature documentary that offers a bleak, but also hopeful, look at climate change. The natural historian, Sir David Attenborough looks back at his long career and assesses the state of the planet and what needs to be done in order to save it. Much of the conversation is somber, with talk about declining animal populations and the destruction of the planet. However, in the final third of the film, Attenborough does offer hope with a list of actions that can be made to hep prevent Earth from further decline. The film includes clips from Attenborough's previous documentaries -- some as far back as the 1950s -- as well as contemporary footage, both of which capture incredible moments of the natural world. Some of this footage also includes upsetting imagery such as animals falling to their deaths. Due to the seriousness of the documentary, parents may wish to consider how prepared their kids are for the realties discussed, or at least be prepared for difficult, albeit important, conversations. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This powerful documentary finds the much-loved and well-respected natural historian in a somber mood. For the first two thirds of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, Attenborough doesn't sugarcoat the negative impact humans have had on the natural environment. Talk of lost species, uninhabitable areas, and irreversible damage are backed up with increasingly depressing facts and figures projected on screen. While the documentary provides a chance for the the 93-year-old to look back on his remarkable life -- archive footage provides some of the film's more lighter moments -- this is less a celebration, more a warning.
One of Attenborough's biggest strengths has always been his ability to replicate the emotions of the viewer. He looks just as excited when encountering a rare species as we are witnessing it on screen. It's why, when talking directly to camera, his desperate plea for change is so hard hitting. Yet despite the gloomy future portrayed, the final third of the film offers hope. Hope that is delivered inspiringly by the man himself. Change, he argues is not an option, it is a necessity. But it can be done -- Attenborough lists a number of ways in which people can help. Attenborough calls A Life on Our Planet his witness statement. It's also perhaps his most important film yet.
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Our Editors Recommend
Movies That Teach Kids About Climate Change
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