Parents' Guide to

Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Prequel is a gem, but more intense than series.

Movie NR 2008 76 minutes
Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

More violent than I'd expected

Although a beautiful film about nature, it doesn't pull any punches about how hard it is in the wild. We had to turn it off halfway through when the rival family attacked again, because the sensitive 9 year old said it was just too scary and he detested it. The nearly 6 year old loved it, though, and started crying because we turned it off. We came to an arrangement where we finished the scene, and we'll watch the rest when his brother is away.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This story has it all -- family drama, neighborhood strife, illicit romance, emotional reunions, and the particular brand of humor reserved for human interpretations of animal behavior. Whether you're an established fan of the Whiskers clan or a newcomer to the Kalahari meerkat family, Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins is a captivating journey into the wild that will transport you from your living room to the desert to laugh, cry, and struggle alongside these irrepressible foot-tall desert dwellers.

That said, be careful about sharing it with young kids kids, since many scenes feature close-up views of battles between predators and prey, and there's uncensored footage of a few deaths (including one heart-wrenching one in which a baby dies slowly and painfully after a snake bite). Even kids old enough to handle the harsh facts of life in the wild may have follow-up questions about topics like mating rituals and "survival of the fittest," so be prepared. But if your kids are up for it, grab a box of tissues (you'll need them for all the ups and downs) and join them for the amazing journey that is everyday meerkat life.

Movie Details

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