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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Frozen Planet is a beautiful series from the Planet Earth and Life team that takes viewers on a sweeping tour of the North and South poles, highlighting the inhabitants' struggles to survive the harsh elements and how extreme weather changes force them to adapt. Gorgeous scenery, stunning time-lapse videography, and intriguing storytelling are the hallmarks of this family friendly series that inspires an appreciation for nature and a concern for the plight of its inhabitants. Youngsters will enjoy the scenes of animals frolicking in the snow or taking flight for the first time, but this is a real know-your-kid situation, since the show doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of life and death, and there are some scenes that discuss and show the mating habits of certain animals.
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What's the story?
FROZEN PLANET is the third nature series from the team behind Planet Earth and Life. A project four years in the making, this stunningly beautiful documentary narrated by Alec Baldwin turns the camera lens on the planet's polar regions, chronicling the seasonal changes that instigate massive migrations of animals by sea and air and set in motion choreographed breeding rituals and concentrated feeding frenzies. Arctic wolves, polar bears, albatross, killer whales, and many more share center stage in this inspiring glimpse of the world's little-known extreme North and South. Thanks to motion-controlled, time-lapse cameras, and a dedicated crew of videographers who risked the harsh polar elements, these climate changes and fascinating animal behavior are captured for viewers' enjoyment.
Is it any good?
Move over, pampered Real Housewives and commercialized American Idols -- this vibrant series is reality TV at its best. These new stars of the small screen will not only captivate viewers of all ages, they'll actually inspire them to look at the world differently and want to learn more about it. Topics you -- or your kids, for that matter -- probably never found interesting suddenly come to life in Frozen Planet. Weather patterns? The habits of solitary caterpillars? Crime rates among Adelie penguins? Viewed through the lens of this series, these are fascinating topics.
Drama, suspense, comedy, tragedy, and romance all have a part in the stories that comprise this masterfully rendered nature series. For families, this makes for a rare gem: TV that's equal parts entertainment and education and offers something for viewers of every age. That said, this series doesn't gloss over the harsh realities of life, so if your kids are sensitive to the plight of prey, be warned that there are many scenes that end in one animal killing and eating another. On a similar note, if you haven't had "the talk" yet, you may want to preview each episode to screen for segments that discuss breeding and, in a few cases, show polar bears, elephant seals, and other animals in the act of reproduction itself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the scenes of nature in Frozen Planet. In what ways do you like to connect with nature? Does your family enjoy hiking, gardening, or fishing? How much access to natural surroundings do you have where you live?
How do the animals in this show adapt to cope with the challenges of their surroundings? Do they band together or split apart when times get tough? In what ways are their actions similar to humans'? How are they different?
Families can discuss how they can institute conservation practices in their home to help the environment. Do you recycle? How do you conserve energy? When you buy clothing or food, how can you make choices that both satisfy your needs and help the environment of your community? How might these choices impact the planet's future?
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