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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A tour of Australia's outback and bush spotlights the unique creatures native to that subcontinent. Statistics about coastal and inland geographical features are given, as are some interesting facts about the animals. A cursory look at a variety of habitats and behaviors.
Explore the world around you. Get outside to be with nature. Strange creatures exist in great variety on our planet.
Positive Role Models
Animals help each other to survive. Male emus raise their young. Animals adapting to nature lend a hopeful tone.
Violence & Scariness
Venomous snakes and giant lizards hunt each other. A giant lizard eats a parrot in one gulp: "a mere snack," says the narrator. Some peril as birds of prey hunt vulnerable creatures.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hidden Australia is a nature documentary that explores wildlife in the different regions of the Australian subcontinent. The narrator explains that though Australia is known as "a tropical paradise for babes in bathing suits," there is more to the country than meets the eye. (The "babes" aren't shown specifically.) The narration focuses on the "weird" reptiles, marsupials, and birds in Australia that make the country unique. Interesting facts abound, and the camera work is fairly good (camera hidden inside of a snake burrow, engorged abdomens of honey pot ants are shown), but don't expect a deep dive. This is a surface-level introduction into the different climates and wildlife down under.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary about unique Australian animals misses opportunities to delve into details. Hidden Australia sticks to the superficial facts about fascinating animals -- just about every fact referenced in this show can be found on Wikipedia. Nothing feels newly uncovered, deeply researched or surprising. In short, in the world of educational documentary, this show feels like a presentation given by a slightly bored tour guide. Even the music is kind of meh -- where's the didgeridoo?
But, there are some surprises, for example, footage of the honey pot ant with its alien-esque abdomen filled with a honey-like serum that feeds its own hungry clan members is truly bizarre. The platypus, which really intrigues with its beak and electric shock capacity, isn't filmed particularly well, but it could be a jumping point for younger viewers who want to learn more. Adults won't find much to balk at, unless there's a fear of venomous snakes and predatory ants in the house. Some beautiful scenery, some interesting animals, but nothing truly jaw-dropping.
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.