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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The documentary's chief purpose is its wealth of educational content; it presents a continuous string of details about crocodiles from all around the world, from the Everglades to Australia to Africa and more. There are 25 species of crocodiles in the world; crocodiles burrow their eggs in rotting detritus on the ground to incubate the eggs; they also have the strongest bite strength out of any animal, over 60,000 Newtons, and control the temperature of their blood by moving between warm sunny spots and cool bodies of water.
It's important to continue keeping crocodiles protected against hide hunting and the effects of human land development (damming, farming, etc.). The animal who has remained relatively unchanged for 180 million years deserves some respect.
Violence & Scariness
Crocodiles stalk and then lunge at prey including snakes, zebra, hogs, antelope, and more. The crocodiles chomp and then whip around the animal's body while it writhes in its last moments before a violent death. One crocodile whips its neck around so quickly that the fish in its mouth splits in two, and blood drips down its jaws. At one point, a vulture rides a dead crocodile's carcass down the river while pecking at the carcass. There are several tense moments when crocodiles are shown stalking, but not approaching, several animals (including, at one point, a human).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The documentary shows and explains crocodiles' courtship and mating rituals, but not actual crocodile sex.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crocodile Kingdom is a highly informative nature documentary TV special that details the births, hunting strategies, bodily features, and other habits typical of crocodiles around the world. The 45-minute doc is made almost entirely of highly in-focus and close-up video footage backed by a cool-voiced English narrator's (Andy Wisher) explanation of that footage. The excellence of the footage goes hand in hand with strong animal violence, as crocodiles' lives are naturally filled with lots of gore (there are several shots of crocodiles clamping their jaws down on other animals and whipping them around until death) and tense situations (crocodiles at various points stalk elephants, lizards, elephants, and even humans ignorant to the crocodiles' presence). There's never any violence shown against or between people.
Is It Any Good?
Crocodiles are one of Earth's most ancient species, and yet continue to wield intelligent and significant power over the ecosystems in which they live. Crocodile Kingdom brings all the details of the crocodiles' power to the forefront through a wealth of gorgeous (sometimes slow motion, when it fits) footage, evenhanded narration, and the occasional bit of music to underline a tense situation.
Crocodile Kingdom has inherent entertainment value for viewers interested in ecology, science, and of course crocodiles. Unlike some nature documentaries, Crocodile Kingdom does not track or give names to a constant group of animals throughout the show; there are no anthropomorphizing "human interest" stories imposed on the crocodiles. Rather, the documentary builds its pace by focusing on the situations in which many crocodiles find themselves challenged (e.g., protecting unhatched babies from lizards that are hungry for crocodile eggs). The documentary, so to speak, lets the crocodiles speak for themselves, and relies on a wealth of information and stunning camera work to open a window into crocodiles' lives.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.