A World of Calm

TV review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
A World of Calm TV Poster Image
Engrossing meditations on life, nature narrated by celebs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Cherry-picked factual information is shared about each topic (sea life, water, horses, space, chocolate, etc.). Darker realities are omitted, such as the impact of climate change on coral reefs and the exploitation of modern workers in the chocolate factory episode.

Positive Messages

We live in a remarkable, interesting, and beautiful world. There are so many stories worth sharing -- we just need to be curious and look for them. Calm exists everywhere, and there are ways to access it when we need it.

Positive Role Models

This series features a woman glassblower, indigenous chocolate producers, and an Inuit family. Showcasing those who are often overlooked subtly communicates the survival and success of people who have faced oppression. The narrators are of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This series is an extension of -- and arguably a commercial for -- the Calm app, which charges a monthly subscription fee (after a free trial period).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A World of Calm is the visual complement to the popular meditation app, Calm. The eye-popping visuals include sweeping drone-shot footage of rain forests, flower covered hills, and turquoise seas surrounding foliage-covered islands, as well as slowed-down sequences of human activities like glassblowing, woodworking, and chocolate making. Slow, soothing narration by well-known celebrities like Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, and Mahershala Ali adds star power to the relaxing effect. The episodes may look educational, but they are only slightly informative, and they exclude anything that might be upsetting or negative. Education isn't the point here thoug. Rather, the series communicates that serenity can be found almost anywhere in our varied and beautiful world. A World of Calm has some diversity, featuring, among others, a woman glassblower, an Inuit family, and indigenous chocolate producers. This family-friendly series is a solid choice for winding down.

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What's the story?

Each of the 22-minute episodes in A WORLD OF CALM features a script that explores natural and cultural insights on a theme, such as coral reefs, birds, snow, wood, noodles, etc. Each story is read by a celebrity, including Zoë Kravitz, Idris Elba, and Kate Winslet. For example, in the coral reef episode, the narrator leads viewers through the experiences of the sea life and communities that rely on coral reefs, while in the noodle episode, viewers discover the cultural and natural secrets of one family's pasta recipe. Viewers are immersed in the often-stunning visual landscapes of different world regions and the people living and working in them. Relaxation-inducing music introduces and concludes every episode, which enhances the meditative focus of the narration.

Is it any good?

This collection is an extension of the Calm app (and arguably an advertisement for it), but it's also unique in the streaming landscape as televised anti-anxiety medicine for a stressed-out world. A World of Calm will wrap viewers up in a safe, cozy -- albeit temporary -- audio-visual blanket, but that's about it. While it features gorgeous filming of the natural world and its inhabitants, animals and people are sometimes ascribed feelings and thoughts they probably didn't have, and celebrity narrators share only the barest minimum of facts, so go in knowing you're not watching this to learn.

The show's stranger choices can be easily forgiven, as it entices viewers to chilll out to the ethereal filming, soothing soundtrack, hypnotic narration, and avoidance of anything negative. It's a safe pick for all ages, though kids used to the excitement and tension of typical nature documentaries may find it a bit slow-moving at first, until the mesmerizing magic of the show kicks in. Is this award-winning television? Nah. Is it worth watching? Absolutely.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the people and landscapes showcased in A World of Calm. Which people really stood out to you? Which natural landscapes most impressed you? Why do you think these people and regions of the world were chosen for the series?

  • What emotions came up for you as you watched the show? How did your body feel? Did it put you in a meditative state? What exactly does that mean?

  • How is this show similar to other nature shows you have seen? How is it different? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love nature

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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