A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lion in Your Room is a short 2015 documentary from Canada about cats. The only aspect that could be remotely troubling for younger or more sensitive viewers is close-ups of cats hissing and looking mean, as well as close-ups of a cat with a dead bird in its mouth, as well as cats clawing apart and eating a dead fish. Aside from this, the documentary features interviews with veterinarians and cat researchers who discuss the evolution, development, and history of how and why cats are who they are, and their relationship to people, in both the past and present. This should inspire discussion with kids about both biological and historical evolution, and begin to answer questions about the behavior of cats.
What's the story?
THE LION IN YOUR LIVING ROOM discusses the biology, history, and evolution of cats. It explores why they behave the way they do, and how their relationship with humans has developed over the centuries. It also shows and discusses cats' relationships with other cats, and how they behave when "in the wild." Veterinarians and researchers discuss what they have uncovered in their experiments and findings. Misconceptions are put to rest, and even the future relationship of the continually changing relationship of cats with humans is speculated upon.
Is it any good?
This is a short and highly informative documentary about cats. Even if you're not a "cat person" by any stretch, it does shed light on why cats behave the way they do, how their behavior has evolved over time, and the continually developing relationship between cats and humans. The information presented from veterinarians and researchers is easy enough for younger viewers to understand while still being engaging for older viewers.
While most certainly more of interest to cat lovers, The Lion in Your Room takes a broader focus, and even explores the debate centered on the concern many have raised over the damage cats have wreaked on bird and animal species, either as outdoor house cats or as feral cats. The exploration of this topic as well as discussion of other types of cat behavior should inform and inspire discussion amongst family members with cats as to why their own pet behaves the way it does.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animal and nature documentaries. How do they convey information? How is The Lion in Your Room similar to and different from other animal and nature documentaries?
What was one thing you learned from this documentary?
How does this documentary address an issue of concern for many: how cats, while outside, attack and kill bird and animal species native to the regions in which they live?
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