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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ancient Earth is a nature documentary series that focuses on the eras after the dinosaurs and before humanity. The series is built around CGI animation of the lesser-known creatures that lived after the age of the dinosaurs, like giant insects, feathered dragons, and early mammals. The series illustrates how these animals lived and survived, and how they may have evolved into animals we recognize today. All of the animated segments are backed up by paleontologists explaining the science and technology that led to understanding each of these animals.
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What's the Story?
Not your typical nature documentary, Ancient Earth uses animation to show what life on the planet was like before humans arrived. Scientists walk viewers through the processes and technology that helped them arrive at an understanding of prehistoric life, how creatures survived or became extinct, while detailed recreations allow them to see what these mythical creatures would have looked and acted like in real time.
Is It Any Good?
As popular as dinosaurs are, not many people know what life was like between dinosaurs' extinction and the dawn of humanity -- Ancient Earth is at its best when it fills in those gaps, focusing lesser-known creatures that are just as fascinating as their prehistoric predecessors. Episodes go in-depth on giant insects, feathered dragons, and early mammals (critters that seem equipped to fight Godzilla, basically). The series leans on talking heads and scientific explanations more than a typical nature doc, which might alienate some younger viewers who just want the spectacle. Otherwise, Ancient Earth succeeds at introducing viewers to thrilling new worlds.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about prehistoric animals. What do you know about dinosaurs? What do you know about the eras after dinosaurs became extinct? What questions do you have about creatures who lived after the dinosaurs?
What animals are featured in Ancient Earth? Did you know about them before? Which are your favorites? How are they different from the dinosaurs? How are they similar?
Why is important for scientists to study prehistoric creatures? How did scientists come to understand the animals featured here? What are some of the processes and technology they use to learn about those animals?
- Premiere date: February 20, 2017
- Network: HBO Max
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Bugs, Science and Nature
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Nature show uses aliens to reveal unique life on Earth.
Valley of the Dinosaurs
Classic prehistoric family adventure 'toon for all ages.
Beautifully animated "nature" docu for dino fans.
For kids who love ancient history
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