A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kids learn about different animals, their behavior, instincts, and habitats. When they're called for, simple graphics help illustrate as the host points out unique features that help animals survive their surroundings or show where they live. Unfamiliar terms such as "apex predator" and "naive prey syndrome" are explained in the narration.
The show introduces viewers to a variety of wild species, usually in the animals' natural habitats, to encourage respect for biodiversity, adaptation, and (indirectly) conservation. The host often puts himself in potentially dangerous situations for education's sake, but in each case there's a disclaimer visible on the screen that reminds viewers never to do the same.
Positive Role Models
The host and his crew are knowledgeable about every species they study and respectful of the animals' needs, which they show by keeping safe distances from them and watching for clues that their presence is unwelcome. They're always excited to learn more by observing the subjects' behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Predators chase and capture prey, and, in some cases, they're shown eating it as well. Some video footage captures tense encounters with wild animals, and you hear their noises and see them defend their territory by intimidating the humans. Some instinctive animal behavior seems violent even when it's not meant to be, as when two wolverines play together.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Expedition Wild is an educational series whose host goes on location to study species such as mountain lions and Kodiak bears in their native habitats. It's geared toward kids, but adults will like it as well, and all ages are sure to learn something from the host's vast knowledge of his subjects. Parents' only cause for concern will be cases in which animals' behavior might scare kids who don't understand the reasons for it, as when a mountain lion strikes at a human in defense of her den or a pack of wolves teams up to kill an elk. For this reason, it's a real know-your-kid situation, but those who are OK with this kind of content will learn a lot about wildlife behavior.
Is It Any Good?
For those who can't traipse across the world to track elusive species themselves, Expedition Wild is the next best thing to learn about a variety of animals. Not only do they get to observe all different kinds of creatures in their natural habitats, they're treated to a likable tour guide in Anderson, who's even better in front of the camera than he is interacting with the species he studies. There's never a dull moment as he shares what he knows about how the animals have adapted to their specific environments, and his enthusiasm often yields further interest in the subject from viewers of all ages.
Of course, you can't paint an accurate picture of life in the wild without showing, well, the wild side of it, and that's as true of Expedition Wild as it is of every show like it. It's not all scenic and serene, after all; sometimes it's a fight to survive, and viewers get to see this in action. Even when Anderson gets up close and personal with domesticated ambassadors of the wildlife he studies, there's an element of potential danger to those encounters. Just be sure your younger kids understand that what they see playing out in the show is no indicator of how they should approach a wild or unfamiliar animal themselves.
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.