A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The documentary's chief purpose is to educate, and it presents plenty of facts about jaguars and the environments where jaguars live. For example, jaguars are the only big cats who don't mind swimming, and they're the third biggest cats behind lions and tigers.
All wild plants and animals need complete ecosystems to flourish, including jaguars. While jaguars' lives have generally improved since the 1900's as it has become much more difficult for people to hunt jaguars for their fur, deforestation remains a large problem for the wellbeing of jaguars and other animals.
Positive Role Models
The biologists in the documentary are shown treating the jaguar they capture with great care and tenderness, and their efforts (like putting a collar on one jaguar) are all for the wellbeing of the jaguar.
Violence & Scariness
There are some moments of animal violence. A team of biologists is shown shooting a jaguar with (harmless) sedative darts, and near the end of the documentary the jaguar is shown clamping down its jaws on a crocodile's head and killing it. There are also several shots showing the jaguar stalking his prey, which might prove scary for some kids. There's no human violence whatsoever.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One brief five-second shot showing the male jaguar humping a female jaguar. There is dicussion of jaguars' mating habits (e.g. jaguars have sex 100 times a day when trying to conceive). There are no graphically sexual images, however.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jaguar: King of the Jungle is a nature documentary that uses calm narration (Andy Wisher) and richly detailed shots to show and explain many facts about the llife of a jaguar. In a tight 45 minutes, the documentary follows one particular unnamed male jaguar that lives in the Brazilian rainforest, using his continually unsuccessful efforts to find and kill other animals (coatimundis, monkeys, tapiers, crocodiles, capybaras, wild hogs, and more) as the launch pad towards explaining related information about wider world surrounding the jaguar: the animals he's trying to kill, the plants within his rainforest, some human biologists, and all the ways in which these various parties interact with one another. There are several moments of animal violence, including a jaguar biting down on the head of a crocodile to kill it, and one brief shot showing the male jaguar humping a female jaguar. In addition, many of the story's most gripping moments come from the jaguar's tense stalking of other animals including crocodiles and adorable capybaras, which might prove scary for some kids.
Is It Any Good?
Jaguar: King of the Jungle provides a glimpse into the life of jaguars in the Brazilian rainforest, and in the meantime tells the story of the various plants and animals that make up the rest of the ecosystem that the jaguars haunt. This is achieved through calm narration and some great camera shots.
The documentary exists in a middle ground that is somewhat unusual for nature documentaries: it follows one single jaguar yet does not name or anthropomorphize the jaguar at all (i.e. giving it traits like a personality or showing it interacting with its young or something like that). Because of this, the information and camera shots provided feel somewhat narrow, but this isn't made up for by a more gripping anthropomorphized "plot", so in the end the documentary isn't very gripping. However, it does list lots of facts about jaguars and their surrounding environments, and gives some camera shots that are enjoyable to look at. In the end, the documentary won't be entertaining for most people who aren't already interested in the subject matter, but it does successfully fulfill the narrow guidelines it sets out for itself.
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