What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the host of this nature series often talks about the real-life dangers -- including dismemberment and death -- that he faces while trying to save the group of lions he tracks, as well as the death sentence the animals face if they can’t change their behavior. Add to this many scenes of animals killing and eating their prey, some occasional salty language (mostly "ass"), and a few glimpses of a man’s naked backside, and it's clear that this isn't meant for the youngest viewers. That said, tweens and teens will be moved by Salmoni’s selfless attempts to help the rogue lions.
What's the story?
INTO THE PRIDE chronicles animal expert Dave Salmoni’s six-month experiment to immerse himself into the lives of a troublesome group of 16 lions in Namibia’s Erindi Game Reserve. Far from just a research mission, Salmoni’s journey is actually one of mercy, as he attempts to gain the rogue animals' trust so he can familiarize them with humans and ultimately save them from death. Salmoni travels with a camera crew during the day, but at night he sleeps alone among Africa’s wildlife, keeping tabs on the pride and striving to win them over and ensure their survival.
Is it any good?
This beautifully filmed, expertly narrated docuseries takes an unsensationalized view of the plight of wild animals up against shrinking homeland and diminished food supply. Salmoni’s lions face the possibility of destruction simply because they're following their natural hunting instincts (they’ve raided cattle herds and intimidated humans). By making it clear that the big cats' actions would be less troublesome in a vast natural habitat, the show is a great way to jumpstart discussions about world issues in general.
That said, it’s not the most age-appropriate choice for the youngest members of your own pride, since most of Salmoni’s interactions with the African wildlife -- particularly the lions -- are pretty tense. He also often discusses his fear for his own life out in the wild, as well as the fatal repercussions for the lions if he fails. That, coupled with occasional language and a few glimpses of Salmoni’s bare backside, place it in the "edgier" category when it comes to nature shows. But for tweens and teens, the series is a great reminder of both the majesty of nature and the need to protect it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about conservation. What steps have world leaders and organizations taken to protect endangered wildlife and their homelands? How far should we go in the name of conservation?
How does this nature show compare to others you’ve seen? Did you learn anything from watching?
What's the media’s responsibility to its viewers? Should all entertainment be family-friendly? Why or why not? Does the fact that a TV show or movie has mature content make it more enticing to tweens and teens?