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 this impressive nature series is well suited for family viewing. Both adults and kids will be inspired by the majestic scenery and shots of wildlife like bears, caribou, and bald eagles in their natural surroundings. There are learning opportunities as well, as host Jeff Corwin gives thorough background on the scientific factors (glaciers, earthquakes, volcanoes) that formed -- and continue to reshape -- the land. If your kids are very young, you might need to explain some animal behavior, like occasional scenes of creatures eating their prey.
What's the story?
In INTO ALASKA WITH JEFF CORWIN, enthusiastic zoologist Jeff Corwin hikes, boats, and climbs his way through the wilds of some of Alaska's most awe-inspiring venues, pointing out along the way the majestic topography and wealth of wildlife that make the state such a stunning place. His travels take him to the Kenai Peninsula to observe marine life, to Kodiak Island for a glimpse at brown bears, and along the western coastline for prime whale-watching opportunities. Every adventure offers learning opportunities. For example, on an excursion into Denali National Park, Corwin walks atop a massive glacier to see how it has carved through the mountains, then rappels into a crevasse for an informative lesson on glacial formation. From there he heads into the wilderness to watch salmon migrate upstream and seek out the majestic bald eagle.
Is it any good?
It's Corwin's palpable excitement -- coupled with the amazing Alaskan scenery -- that makes this series so much fun to watch. That said, as travel shows go, it doesn't offer much innovation, sticking instead to the tried-and-true format of following an adventurous host as he visits some of his favorite haunts and explains why they inspire him.
Whether you're pondering a destination for your next vacation or just looking to get a glimpse at nature, Into Alaska certainly won't disappoint. Expect some questions from young viewers about animal behavior during scenes of predators eating small prey and other unfamiliar habits. But other than that, just sit back and enjoy the ride into America's final frontier.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about travel and adventure. Do you think shows like this encourage travel -- or is just seeing it on TV enough? Do you enjoy traveling? What are some of your favorite places that you've been? What can people learn from experiencing other languages, cultures, and traditions? How do you think outsiders would view your lifestyle? Where would you most like to visit? Why? What kinds of things would you like to do and see there?