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Animal Atlas



Fun globe-trotting series teaches kids about animal species.

What parents need to know

Educational value

This show is great for kids and adults alike, and everyone will learn something new from the encounters with different animals. Concepts that might be unfamiliar to young viewers (adaptation, grazers versus browsers, cold-blooded versus warm-blooded) are thoroughly explained and delivered in an engaging format.

Positive messages

The series encourages an appreciation for nature's diversity by introducing kids to a variety of land and sea creatures, investigating the unique qualities each has to survive in its environment. Although the narrator isn't preachy on the issue of conservation, some segments touch on the need for protecting endangered species and their natural habitats.

Positive role models
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Although the concepts of predatory behavior and carnivorism are discussed at length, the animals aren't shown eating prey.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Animal Atlas is a fun, fast-paced series that introduces viewers to a variety of wild and domesticated animal species, explaining how they live, eat, and survive the unique dangers of their respective environments. Concepts such as adaptation, defense mechanisms, and classification are explained in ways even very young kids can understand, and fun facts about each species keep the content engaging. The narrator touches on conservation and other environmental issues in segments that spotlight endangered species, but it's never preachy or long-winded. This informative series is a great option for curious kids and their parents.

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What's the story?

ANIMAL ATLAS takes viewers around the world and to the depths of the ocean to learn about diverse wildlife and domesticated species. Big and small, hairy and scaly, predator and prey -- all sizes and shapes get their time in the spotlight as narrator Eric Schwartz points out what makes each one unique and how shared characteristics make some groups similar. It's a whirlwind virtual field trip that brings kids up close to species they've never heard of and treats them to fun trivia about familiar favorites.

Is it any good?


Animal-themed programming certainly isn't an endangered species, so how do you go about weeding through the masses for the pick of the litter? Well, if you've found Animal Atlas, then the hunt is over. This superb series blends educational content and entertainment in the perfect ratio, getting kids' attention with quirky facts and conversational commentary before unleashing a wealth of quality information related to each animal species. If the subjects are lions, for example, you'll learn about predators and carnivores as well as how nearby prey animals' unique defenses give them a fighting chance for survival. Think all bear species are pretty much the same? You'll think again after seeing how physical adaptations make each one a heavy hitter in his respective environment.

The beauty of this series is that it ditches the rote formulas so many shows fall victim to and keeps its process fresh by mixing up its focus. Some segments center on animals grouped by where they live or what they eat, while others give a snapshot of one particularly intriguing species. But what never changes is the show's deliberate content that aims to teach as much as it entertains.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how animals adapt to their environments. What forces work against the species in this show? How are their bodies designed to help them survive? What would happen if one species became disproportionately dominant in a habitat?

  • Similarities and differences are a common theme in this show. Kids: Which characteristics or interests do you share with your friends? How does this make it more enjoyable to be with them? Are differences necessarily a bad thing? In what ways do your unique qualities make you special?

  • This series is a great place to start some hands-on learning with your kids. Take a walk through the woods or visit a local zoo or pet store to view different types of animals up close. Talk about different environments and how their qualities affect the animals' well-being. How do they survive a changing climate? Where do they look for food?

TV details

Cast:Eric Schwartz
Topics:Horses and farm animals, Ocean creatures, Science and nature, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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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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