Animal Armageddon

Common Sense Media says

Fascinating, sometimes intense tour of Earth's history.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
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9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series illustrates Earth's ancient geological evolution and speculates on some of its long-extinct inhabitants. While it presents scientific theories (such as a gamma-ray burst that scientists say wiped out nearly all life 450 billion years ago) as fact, it does acknowledge that there's no definitive evidence to either support or debunk these or any other theories.

Violence

Some scenes of CGI animals fighting and tearing each other to pieces. References to violent future extinction events could upset kids -- one segment includes repetitive terms like "gamma ray bursts incinerate
the earth's surface," and "rocketing death rays," and an entire
episode analyzes possible future extinctions.

Sex

Occasional mention of animal mating rituals and reproduction, but nothing is shown.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fascinating series explores controversial scientific theories about Earth's evolution and the cyclical extinction of its inhabitants. Kids could be confused by the speculative nature of what they hear and potentially frightened by the narrator's constant references to impending doom and death. Some scenes show CGI animals attacking and eating their prey, and others illustrate how changing atmospheric elements could have killed some species. It's not for young kids, but the show's stunning CGI makes ancient geology and evolution as enticing as any thriller, so it's a great choice for parents, tweens, and teens.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

ANIMAL ARMAGEDDON takes viewers on a CGI-enhanced tour of Earth as it existed during significant eras in its evolutionary history. Each of the shows eight episodes explores the geologic appearance, atmospheric elements, and spectrum of life at a certain point on Earth's timeline -- and then explains how monumental catastrophes like cosmic gamma ray bursts and massive meteor strikes wiped out nearly every species alive at the time. Scientists also offer insight into how a few resilient inhabitants managed to survive each disaster and evolve to secure a future for the planet's population.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you think ancient geology and fossilized biology are about as interesting as, well, a box of rocks, then you've never experienced anything like this impressive series. Even if you can't recall a single fact from high school science class, you'll emerge from each hour-long episode with a general idea of Earth's make-up, its prominent inhabitants, and the theories behind the monumental disasters that threatened life's survival at various turning points in the planet's history. The series' CGI literally brings the ancient past to life, giving viewers an amazing visual image of life long ago.

That said, there's good reason to save Animal Armageddon for after the youngest kids are in bed. Voice-over narration repeatedly refers to impending doom (terms like "blasting the atmosphere apart" and "burns them to death" are tossed around lightly, and an entire episode explores possible future extinctions) in tones that could frighten kids who can't grasp the timeline to which it refers. The inherent speculation that exists in the show's content -- which is based on sometimes controversial theories -- could also be confusing for kids, so save this eye-opening series for tweens and teens who can put the series' potentially troubling elements in context.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the methods that scientists use to develop and support their theories. How do they gather data so long after the actual event? How has modern technology changed how we can analyze ancient evidence? What do you think of the theories presented in this show? What alternative explanations for the same events have you heard? Does any theory seem more plausible to you than another? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Jared Morrow, Peter Ward
Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Educational
Topics:Dinosaurs, History, Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Animal Armageddon was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySimoncaneplz June 1, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

WARNING

This movie contains, sensitive content, such as evolution, and these are very sensitive as well as offensive to religous person, there for this movie is NOT FOR KIDS!
Teen, 17 years old Written byBlue-Bunny February 13, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Nice show...

Very educational, and goes into detail. There is some blood, but it is very mild. Great show.

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