Growing Up...

Common Sense Media says

Conservation tales that pull your heartstrings.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Addresses the importance of animal preservation efforts.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some discussion of animal breeding programs.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this very family-friendly program centers on the growth process of orphaned baby animals. Cute critters like grizzly bears and tiger cubs are raised in captivity in hopes that scientists will be able to learn more about the species (the other goal is to help promote breeding programs). Kids who watch will learn about animal reserves and how dedicated conservationists are working hard to raise awareness about the plight of endangered animals.

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What's the story?

GROWING UP... is a series of hour-long documentary specials that tell the stories of orphaned animal babies (most from an endangered species) raised by professional conservationists in reserves around the world. In each episode, viewers get an inside look at a preservation organization that rescues abandoned animals -- from grizzly bears and timber wolves to elephants and tigers -- following the triumphs and tribulations they face. Difficult questions are raised, including some about the effectiveness of the programs, the cost of maintenance, and the reality of conservation efforts. Viewers will learn a lot about the future of endangered species, as well as insightful and surprising facts about conservation programs (for example, there are more Bengal tigers in captivity than there are in the wild). Viewers will also get to learn about the breeding DNA collection programs that help keep endangered animals alive.

Is it any good?


Growing Up... does a fantastic job of examining the extinction of many animal species across the world and the attempts that have been made to preserve their legacy. There's no shortage of animal programs on TV, but Growing Up... could easily become a family favorite. It's hard not to get emotionally involved as you listen to the animal orphans' stories, watch them grow from little balls of fur into large adults, and witness the heartbreaking goodbyes when they're transferred to larger facilities and their surrogate parents have to bid them farewell. It's engaging and eye-opening -- a powerful combination.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of endangered animal preservation and how humans are both the problem and the solution. How do people's environments affect other animals' habitats? How can people contribute to preservation efforts? How does other species' extinction affect humans?

TV details

Network:Animal Planet
Topics:Science and nature, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Growing Up... was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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