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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Africa is another documentary project from the award-winning team behind Life. It takes viewers on a tour of Africa's natural diversity, focusing on awe-inspiring, unlikely, and sometimes bizarre animal behavior to be found in the far reaches of the continent. As with any nature show, expect to see the subjects in their natural habitats and practicing their instinctive behavior like hunting and eating prey (and hunters' tendencies to target young or weak victims), territorial fighting and killing, and reproducing. If your kids don't know the basics of this kind of behavior, you may want to outline the main points before watching and be on hand to answer questions as they arise.
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What's the story?
From the team behind the documentary Life comes AFRICA, a nature series that crisscrosses the continent studying animal behavior, climate, and geology throughout the vast land. Using cutting-edge film technology, the series captures close-up images of never-before-seen places and previously undocumented practices among species ranging from tiny insects to towering giraffes.
Is it any good?
A seven-part series that took four years to make, this documentary series is a fascinating visual tour of a continent with secrets around each corner. Every animal species, every cavern, every watering hole has a story to tell about how the land evolved and its inhabitants adapted, often in environments so harsh that each day poses a new test to their survival. As in Life, there are many firsts documented here, which is testimony to the cutting-edge technology that allows the crew to observe the subjects' behavior without disruption but also inspires new questions about the many mysteries of the wild that still exist.
Africa accomplishes precisely what Life did before it; it makes learning about the world just as fun as tuning into a favorite TV series. The show has it all: drama, comedy, romance, and even some sweaty-palms moments when the stars' fates hang in the balance. Not only will your family enjoy the stories as you watch them unfold, they'll also retain a lot of what they see and hear because of the quality of its presentation, which makes this a fantastic option for watching together. Just be sure your youngsters are prepped on what it means to be an animal in the wild so they won't be surprised by the predatory hunting and the occasional mating ritual.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how different animal species adapt to their specific environments in Africa. Which ones have special traits or abilities that let them evade capture or hunt better? Is any one species perfectly adapted? Which traits do you think are most valuable in each environment?
Kids: What is the value in learning about other areas of the world? How does seeing these animals in their natural habitats change your views toward conservation issues? Which ones are threatened by pollution, deforestation, or population sprawl? Are any safe from their effects? What, if anything, do you think is our responsibility toward their well-being?
What did you learn from this show? How much of the TV you watch would you say is educational? Do you ever pick up things from TV or movies that your parents might not like? What are your family's rules about media consumption?
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