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 this docuseries -- which spotlights animals that demonstrate amazing talents like logical thought, musical expertise, and artistic expression -- doesn't have any content that makes it inappropriate for family viewing. Although much of the information (like experts' insight on how the subjects' physiology and natural intellect contribute to their abilities) will go over little kids' head -- and some kids may need explanation about why some of the animals live in captivity and perform tricks for audiences -- viewers of all ages will walk away with some fun facts about the different species.
What's the story?
EXTRAORDINARY ANIMALS challenges the common human perception that animals have inferior intellect by introducing viewers to creatures whose astounding abilities defy explanation. From an artistic elephant with a flair for abstracts to a sea lion whose use of logic sometimes exceeds that of humans, these animals truly are unique among their peers. Narrated by William Shatner, each episode follows the story of one amazing animal, documenting its talents and exploring how its ability was nurtured and studied.
Is it any good?
This intriguing series will entertain animal lovers of all ages, which is great news for families. Content-wise, there's nothing to worry about, and experts' insights into the animals' behavior, physiology, and intellect -- combined with the amazing parade of the critters' talents -- plays out like a fun version of biology class. It's a sure bet that you'll never look at animals in quite the same way after a glance at these geniuses.
Even very young viewers will enjoy watching the animals featured in this show, but some kids may have follow-up questions about why wild animals like elephants and orangutans are in captivity and why the subjects are performing tricks for rewards -- and sometimes for the enjoyment of an onscreen audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how humans and animals relate. How have humans affected the existence of wild animals like elephants, orangutans, and dolphins? Why are some of these animals held in captivity? How does scientists' work help us better understand them? Would you say that the in-depth study of these animals is a good thing? What responsibilities do humans have toward animals? How can we help preserve endangered species' natural environment?