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 Hidden Habitats is a beautifully crafted wildlife documentary series that packs a lot of learning into each episode. As the show's focus changes to a different location, viewers can put what they see into geographical context with on-screen graphics that supplement the videography. Concepts such as "photosynthesis" and "primary production" are incorporated into the narrative in ways that teach without sounding like a text book, and high-definition filming lets viewers see nearly invisible microorganisms in the same fascinating detail as larger creatures. Viewers learn about adaptation, symbiotic relationships, and biodiversity as they relate to vital common elements in each ecosystem that enable life's existence there. Young kids may be wary of scenes that show predatory behavior or animals with particularly menacing features (long teeth, sharp claws, or unique features that trick prey, for instance), but for older kids and parents, this is a smart pick for TV time.
What's the story?
HIDDEN HABITATS travels the world to shed light on some of the planet's most unique -- and sheltered -- ecosystems. Narrated by renowned naturalist Steve Backshall, the series brings microworlds to the forefront, introducing viewers to creatures whose value to the natural order belies their size and relative unfamiliarity. From there he explores how different species' symbioses benefits each environment as a whole and how they all adapt to the harsh demands of their habitats. From the depths of the ocean floor to the lush rain forests, this cinematically stunning series will educate and inspire viewers of many ages.
Is it any good?
Turn on the TV at any time of the day and you're bound to find a nature show of some kind or another in your guide. They're almost as diverse as the natural world they study, but their common focus makes it a challenge for one to truly stand out from the crowd. Hidden Habitats has two very positive things going for it: It has a clear understanding of its intention, and its video footage is so visually appealing it's hard to look away. Put these together and you have the recipe for a memorable nature documentary.
Each episode approaches a different ecosystem with a similar set of questions about how forces of nature impact the existence of the local living creatures and how they adapt to survive. Using this formula, narrator Backshall treats viewers to amazing sightseeing tours while pointing out the common element in every species' survival in their shared ecosystem. It's not only fascinating, it's also packed with educational content related to geography and science and makes for excellent family watching, provided your kids can handle the harsh realities of life in the wild.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the interdependency of all living things. Choose an animal and discuss where in the food chain it would be. What does it rely on for survival? What happens to the rest of the food chain if that animal goes extinct?
Are there any plants or animals without predators? Is that always a good thing? How would an overabundance of one species or another throw off an ecosystem's balance? How would our lives be affected?
Families can relate this series to issues of conservation. Kids: What resources are threatened by human consumption? Why are they not renewable at a similar rate to how we use them? Can anything be done to slow down the threat? What can you do in your home and community to help?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love environmental tales
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.