Parents' Guide to

Meet the Meerkats

By Davis Ryan Cook, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Fact-packed, beautiful nature doc has animal violence.

Movie NR 2020 30 minutes
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This film provides a slew of excellent video and audio footage capturing the Namib Desert's vibrant and comprehensive daily life. Plus, Meet the Meerkats also offers something rare for nature documentaries: a narrative. All throughout its half hour runtime, the documentary follows one female meerkat's journey to find a new family after her former family banished her because of the mating compteition she posed to the alpha female. Along the way, she encounters hunger, thirst, other antagonistic meerkat factions, and night predators all by herself.

What this does is make the documentary into a swirl of educational information, narrative, and audiovisual finesse that should engage any viewer on some level. However, the perennial problem remains that many potential viewers simply won't find the nature documentary interesting unless they're already interested in the subject matter, especially because of the meerkats' total lack of charisma. In the end, the documentary is a superifically and educationally enriching glimpse into a species whose individuals are so small against the larger background of their elements that they must band together against adversity.

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