A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Interesting facts about the lives of squirrels and their cousins bring awareness to their uniqueness. For example: chimpmunks can pack seven nuts into their cheek pouches. Prairie dogs' language is unique and complex. Northern squirrels are one of the only mammals that can fly. The adaptability of squirrels the world over has allowed them to thrive.
Working as a team helps the individual as well as the whole group. Perseverance is the key to survival. Creativity helps creatures adapt to their environment. Don't give up easily-- seeing something through to the end is worth it.
Positive Role Models
Squirrel siblings and families look out for one another. Mama squirrels help their young to find food. City squirrels have adapted to their environment and are "less stressed" than other squirrels, showing that their remarkable ability to adapt is working.
Violence & Scariness
Scenes of a confrontation between a Cape ground squirrel an African cobra can be frightening to those afraid of snakes. The snake doesn't bite the squirrel, but it does strike it. Marmots wrestle for dominance in one scene. No blood is shown, except for a smear of fish blood on the nose of an Alaskan squirrel who's feasting on a dead salmon.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Going Nuts: Tales from the Squirrel World is a majestically shot foray into the world of our neighborhood tree-dwelling rodents. The first scene shows a mother squirrel in her tree den with a litter of babies. It's not clear whether she is still giving birth or not -- the babies do squirm around and latch on to nurse. Other scenes include some perilous confrontation: a woodpecker attacks a squirrel who is stealing from its nut stash, a squirrel fends off a venomous snake, and a desert squirrel climbs on a dangerously prickly cactus to gain access to food. Other scenes have the feel of nature observation through a very high-quality lens.
Is It Any Good?
Exquisite care taken to explore the lives of squirrels results in a top-shelf documentary. In Going Nuts: Tales from the Squirrel World, an acorn drops into a rainwater cache in a forest in Europe. The acorn sinks to the bottom of the clear pool, the spash reverberates in a perfect crown of water. A squirrel wants that acorn, scheming, stretching, even wading into the dread water to get it. The visual drama of the moment is slowed to a delectable pace, and the viewer is drawn deeply into this tiny forest drama.
There are some surprises, as the orange and black squirrels of India -- as big as the resident monkeys -- climb into view. The ninja moves of the Cape ground squirrel are pretty impressive to see as well. Kids will enjoy getting to know more about the animals that live in the tree in the backyard. Adults will appreciate the high-resolution wildlife photography. A reminder that even nature's most unassuming residents can fascinate us.
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.