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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amazing Planet is a spectacular nature series and educational programming at its best. It's a great choice for families interested in exploring the world's wonders together. That said, very young viewers may be frightened by scenes of natural disasters like landslides and volcanoes, as well as brief shots of the dead bodies left in their wake.
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What's the story?
AMAZING PLANET looks at the geological upheaval and natural elements that created the landscape of today's earth and continue to sculpt and refine the planet as time goes on. Presented in high definition, the series demonstrates how the destructive forces of wind, water, and fire combine to etch the topography of the world's continents. Time-lapse photography and detailed computer graphics illustrate the deterioration and regeneration of land through erosion and volcanic action, as well as the eons-long shifting of the continents into their present-day position. Viewers are treated to a whirlwind global tour of some of the planet's natural wonders as narrator Patricia Clarkson explains the processes behind the creation of tumbling waterfalls, towering desert stone formations, cavernous canyons, and stalactite-filled caves. For example, a segment spotlighting the destructive force of water describes how, over time, the powerful Colorado River carved out the massive Grand Canyon and how glaciers formed the Great Lakes and nearby majestic Niagara Falls, whose ledges continue to deteriorate under the force of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that rush over them every second.
Is it any good?
Not only will Amazing Planet educate the whole family about the scientific processes that created the earth as we know it, but it will also inspire viewers to think about the future of the planet and how to preserve its well-being. (The series occasionally touches on the potential hazards of the current global warming trend, but that's just the tip of the proverbial conservation iceberg.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Amazing Planet changes the way they think about the earth. What did you learn about our planet?
What did you learn about science? What tools did the show use to teach these things?
What messages does the show send about ecology and environmentalism? In general, how do movies and TV shows treat those topics? Do you agree with them?
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