Human Planet TV Poster Image

Human Planet



Gorgeous tour of world's diversity is great for families.

What parents need to know

Educational value

There’s no end to the educational opportunities that exist, and the series is a perfect way to broaden your family’s understanding of the world and its inhabitants. Each episode offers lessons in geography, history, anthropology, and social behavior.

Positive messages

The series encourages a greater respect for the world’s diversity and the adaptability of the human spirit. Viewers experience the lifestyles of people from all walks of life and far-reaching corners of the globe, witnessing their struggles for survival over the elements of nature.

Positive role models

The show’s style encourages respect rather than judgment, detailing the subjects’ abilities to overcome challenges with ingenuity and determination.

Violence & scariness

Graphic footage of predators and human hunters killing and eating prey. Some customs involve violence, including one case that shows village people beating each other with sticks to prove their courage.

Sexy stuff

Nudity is common when it relates to the show’s subjects. Male genitalia, buttocks, and female breasts are visible, though not in a sexual manner.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this beautiful series from the makers of Planet Earth and Life chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the planet’s most adaptable inhabitants: humans. From the majestic jungles of South America to the barren Sahara Desert, this show introduces viewers to an array of indigenous people and their lifestyles, so there’s plenty of opportunity for learning. Very young children and sensitive kids might be bothered by the graphic scenes of animals being killed by predators and by humans, so be sure to gauge your kids’ readiness for this issue. What’s more, there is plenty of nudity (male genitalia, buttocks, and female breasts) related to some subjects’ customs. But if your kids can handle these aspects of this stunning series, then it’s a great choice for the whole family.

What's the story?

From the makers of Planet Earth and Life comes another sweeping documentary about nature and its inhabitants. Narrated by John Hurt, HUMAN PLANET turns the cameras on Earth’s diverse human population, chronicling mankind’s impressive ability to adapt to any surroundings and to overcome the daunting obstacles of the natural world. The show visits some of the most remote locations in the world to witness how the indigenous people use ingenuity and minimal resources to survive harsh elements, deadly native species, and limited options for food.

Is it any good?


Human Planet takes viewers around the world in six hours, bypassing the traditional tourism hotspots in favor of remote locales like the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, Inuit territory in Northeast Canada, and West Papua. It’s a fascinating journey that will change the way you look at the world, inspire a new awe for the human spirit, and redefine how you interpret "civilization."

With six hour-long episodes packed with geography and anthropology lessons and plenty of lead-ins to discussions about global warming and conservationism, it’s a sure bet that this series caters to families looking for something worthwhile to tune into. But if your kids are sensitive  to issues like animal violence, be sure to preview the show before you watch it with them, as many scenes show in graphic detail animals being killed (by predators and by humans) and dismembered. The same holds true for viewers’ sensitivity to nudity, since some subjects’ customs mean that at times whole segments center on groups of people who go about their business wearing next to nothing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the environment. Did watching this show change the way you feel about the environment and conservationism? How would deforestation or global warming affect these people differently from you? What responsibilities do we have as inhabitants of the planet to protect it? How does the media serve as a learning tool?

  • Kids: How does this show make you look differently at cultural diversity? What challenges do these people face that you’ll never have to? What challenges do you have that they know nothing about? What common ground might you have?

  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? What would you like to see there? What local delicacies would you eat and drink? How would you relate to the people? What might you learn from experiencing another culture?

TV details

Premiere date:January 13, 2011
Cast:Mike Rowe
Network:Discovery Channel
Topics:Science and nature
Character strengths:Curiosity
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD

This review of Human Planet was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator Written byMychemicalstinkpants April 24, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written byHack♥hack♥ April 23, 2011
i love it
What other families should know
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?